South Florida loses star kick returner Horne for the season

South Florida's Terrence Horne Jr. (80) returned two kickoffs for touchdowns against Georgia Tech.Photo Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

South Florida freshman wide receiver/kick returner Terrence Horne has been diagnosed with a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the 2018 season, the team confirmed to the Tampa Bay Times.

Horne sustained the injury during practice last week prior to South Florida’s win over East Carolina.

“You hate to lose a player, because he had worked so hard. Not only is he a good football player, he’s an unbelievable young man. Always has a smile on his face, would do anything you ask him to do,” head coach Charlie Strong said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “That one kind of hurt us.”

Horne leads the FBS in kick return yardage this season with a staggering 47.0 per attempt.

In the season opener, Horne tied an NCAA single-game record by returning a pair of kicks for touchdowns against Georgia Tech.

Horne took back a kick 98 yards for a score midway through the opening quarter to give the Bulls a 7-3 lead.

Less than three minutes later, Horne raced 97 yards for another touchdown to become 25th Division I player to return two kickoffs for a TD in the same game, according to STATS. He became the first player in the history of the American Athletic Conference with two kick returns for a score in the same game.

No FBS player has ever returned three kickoffs for touchdowns in a game.

The 5-foot-7, 176-pound Horne was a star sprinter at Miramar (Fla.) High School with a career-best clocking of 10.47 seconds in the 100, and he flashed the breathtaking speed against the Yellow Jackets.