Eric Gallman, Cornell football’s breakout freshman wide receiver, will miss the remainder of the 2017 season due to an ankle injury sustained in a Sept. 23 loss to Yale, head coach David Archer ’05 said at media availability Tuesday afternoon.
In that game in New Haven, Gallman set the program’s freshman record for single-game receiving yards with 97 on nine receptions despite exiting early. In his two games so far for Cornell, the three-time all-state selection out of North Carolina leads the team in receptions with 12, averaging 11.1 yards per catch for 133 total yards and a touchdown in the air.
Archer has lauded the newcomer as perhaps a rookie on paper but one who “doesn’t play like a freshman.” With his small 5-foot-10 stature, Gallman has utilized his speed to overpower opposing defensive backs.
Even after leaving the Yale game with an injury, Gallman remained upbeat that he would not be out long-term, but he was then kept out of the lineup against Colgate and now will not see action the rest of the year. It is not clear whether he intends to try for fifth-year eligibility down the road.
Gallman has been a bright spot in an otherwise rough season so far for Cornell’s passing game, which features a receiving corps that returns just one starter from 2016. Despite 825 passing yards in three games — just under 100 less than this point last year — the team has thrown 10 interceptions and only three touchdowns in three games, both of which are regressions from 2016.
“It’s a bummer. He’s a great player, but injuries happen in football,” junior quarterback Dalton Banks said about losing his top target. “It’s just kind of next-man-up mentality, and we’ve got a bunch of guys stepping up, making plays here and there, so we just gotta stick with it and stay at it. You can’t think about those things.”
In other wide receiver news, Archer added that sophomore wide receiver Davy Lizana remains day-to-day after sitting out the Colgate game.
Without Gallman and Lizana in the lineup during the loss to the Raiders, Banks struggled, completing only 22 of 43 passes and tossing four interceptions. Sophomore Owen Peters got some snaps in at the No. 2 receiving slot against Colgate, totaling 50 yards on five catches.