No one rejoices a torn ACL. However, some may see it as a blessing in disguise. In lineman Jonathan Rush's case, it was just that.
As Oklahoma State's offensive coordinator Todd Monken told NewsOK.com, "Thank God he got hurt. ...Obviously the silver lining is, thank God he got hurt. Because you have only so many experienced, truly good football players. It's really a blessing in disguise we got him back.”
It may come as a shock to some to hear an offensive coordinator be grateful for an injury, but Monken is not being mean. Instead, he is opting to see the good side to a season-ending injury that could have been the end of a senior's career but wasn't.
Thanks to the NCAA, a sixth season was offered to Rush after his injury came in Game 4 of the Cowboys' season against Texas A&M. The Killeen, Texas native should have been done at the end of that season, graduating with a group of very experienced linemen. Instead, he now has an opportunity to lead a group of inexperienced linemen toward replicating a Big 12 title win.
Alongside senior Lane Taylor, who boasts 36 career starts himself, Rush will provide experience and maturity to the Oklahoma State line. Taylor said it best to NewsOK.com, "You can't really have enough experience. But when you've played a lot, you've seen different looks, different defenses, different moves. You're more prepared.”
Rush does have the experience, as he started every game his junior year with Oklahoma State. He was named as OSU's most physical lineman four times during the 2010 season, according to OKState.com. He also ranked nationally for the fewest sacks allowed. Impressive stats for Rush, who will now have have the opportunity to prove he can replicate that in 2012.
So while rejoicing an ACL is not something most would do, it's an opportunity for Cowboy fans to celebrate a young man for persevering and returning to finish what he came to Oklahoma State to do. Fans have a lot to look forward to also, as Rush has no plans of wasting his opportunity.
“I kind of feel like I'm cheating. I got an extra year, a sixth year in the game, time to hone my craft. I'd like to take advantage of it.”
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