The hits just keep on coming for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Sophomore safety Nicky Baratti is out for the 2013 season before it ever gets started as a result of a separated shoulder over the weekend.
On Sunday Baratti's father, Clarke Baratti, broke the news online with a photo of his son and the message “You won’t be seeing this again in 2013 ?.. Nicky is out for the year.” The Chicago Tribune's Brian Hamilton confirmed this news today, saying the safety will need surgery that will keep him out of football action for the 2013 season. Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly is hopeful to be able to preserve a year of eligibility.
"We hope to regain that year (of eligibility) obviously," Kelly said. "Very disappointed for Nick, he's worked hard to get back. We'll expect the next man in to step up and get it done there."
The latest surgery will be done on the same shoulder that required an offseason shoulder surgery, which limited Baratti in spring practices. Baratti appears to be taking it all in stride, if a Twitter timeline can be used for such a prognosis...
Everything happens for a reason— Nicky Baratti (@NickyBaratti) August 11, 2013
Baratti was mostly a special teams contributor last season but had been working with the first team defense to this point. Hamilton notes Elijah Shumate has been taking the majority of the first team reps for at open spot at safety this season.
Notre Dame had the 25th best pass defense in the nation last season, allowing just 11 touchdown passes and holding opposing offenses to a hair under 200 passing yards per game on their way to the BCS Championship Game. Baratti was slated to be a contributor on the second team, but now his spot will likely be up for competition between Eliar Hardy and Max Redfield, according to Irish Illustrated.