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Colorado to hold Hunter out vs. USC despite star's plea to return

Dustin Bradford / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Colorado won't have two-way star Travis Hunter in uniform Saturday when it plays USC.

The cornerback/wide receiver sent a text message to head coach Deion Sanders pleading to make his return after suffering a lacerated kidney in a win over Colorado State on Sept. 16. The 20-year-old was taken to a local hospital after the game and released on Sept. 18.

"I need to play this week. We need to get everything we can so I can get back on the field. I'm not taking no for an answer," Sanders said while reading Hunter's message to the team, per Well of Media.

However, Sanders shared his response to Hunter, telling the sophomore phenom he needs more time on the sidelines.

"I care about you more than I care about this game," Sanders said. "You're going to change the game of football one day when you get healthy and ready. Your future is brighter than mine ever will be and ever was. Relax and get healthy. I love you, son."

Hunter posted 16 receptions for 213 yards in three games on offense. He also recorded nine tackles, two pass breakups, and one interception on defense.

The Buffaloes suffered their first loss of the season in a 42-6 rout versus Oregon last weekend. Colorado scored a late fourth-quarter touchdown to avoid getting shutout. The offense was held to just 199 total yards compared to the Ducks' 522.

Colorado (3-1) will host No. 8 USC (4-0) on Saturday. The Trojans lead the country with 55 points per game and rank third in total yards per contest with 569.3.

Sanders said he believes Colorado's response after its first defeat will be vital.

"I know what's in this room. I still believe in what's in this room, I understand what's in this room, and I've got love for what's in this room," he said.

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