Duke wide receiver Blair Holliday will not be on the field for the Blue Devils this fall, but his teammates will make sure that his presence is not forgotten by wearing his No. 8 on their helmets.
The Blue Devils visited with Holliday and his family at UNC Hospitals on Sunday before the sophomore wide receiver was transported to a Georgia brain-injury rehabilitation center. Holliday was hospitalized after a jet ski accident while spending July 4 on Lake Tillery - located just east of Charlotte, N.C..
The wide receiver, expected to start for Duke this fall, was initially listed in critical condition. But according to coach David Cutcliffe, Holliday has made significant improvements since the accident.
"The difference from the beginning to going in there [Sunday] was pretty amazing and pretty uplifting," Cutcliffe told The Herald Sun on Monday. "He was what I would call aware, happy that his friends were there. The room was full of young people."
Holiday's parents, Rick and Leslie, decided to move Blair to the Shepard Center in Atlanta to continue his rehabilitation. The Shepard Center is considered one of the top facilities in the country for recovery from brain and spinal cord injury.
"We ask that everyone continue to be aware of Blair in your prayers and aware of the opportunity when and where you can, those that may read this, to feel like they can contribute to the fun and the trust available," Cutcliffe said. "This will continue to be a long road."
Two accounts, both approved by the NCAA have been established to raise money for Holliday's family to help with medical costs. For information on how to contribute to the The Blair Holliday Recovery Fund, visit www.giveforward.com/theblairhollidayrecoveryfund.
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