Dustin Osborn has felt a lot of different emotions since a high left ankle sprain he suffered in the first game of the season threatened to ruin his senior year. Self-pity was not one of them.
“The biggest thing is not feeling sorry for yourself,” said Osborn who has been kept out of the Rams’ past three games. “Sometimes if you’re hurt you can just go sit in the training room and sulk about it. I was in there six or seven hours a day, telling myself I’d be back.”
On a running play during the first game of the season against Weber State, Osborn was blocking a defensive back when the action came up behind him and a player rolled awkwardly onto his left leg. The result was a twisted left knee and the sprained ankle.
Since then Osborn has been restricted to the sidelines and the training room until this week’s practices where he’s been able to go game speed.
“The first day I came out I was a bit tentative,” said Osborn. “But now I’m back to making cuts and going full speed. I’m not worried about it.”
Osborn, who caught five touchdown passes in 2005, said it was equally frustrating and satisfying to watch his team during the early part of the season.
“It was frustrating when we were in Nevada and couldn’t get it going,” he said. “I wanted to get in there and give my team a spark. But then I felt a lot of happiness when we beat CU, just as happy as if I had played.”
With the popular senior target out, quarterback Caleb Hanie has still found success in going to one of the many other talented Ram receivers.
Knowing Hanie is known for spreading the ball around, Osborn expects to get the opportunity to prove he’s completely back right away.
“You have to stay humble and realize it’s others’ turn to get it done,” said Osborn. “Now it’s my turn again.”
Even if the senior leader doesn’t come up with a big play this Saturday against Nevada-Las Vegas (1-3, 0-0), just the accomplishment of returning from the injury will be enough.
“I’m about as happy as I was when I found out I made the team,” said Osborn on getting cleared to play. “After you sit out a few games you realize how important this game is to you. This is probably my last year of football, hopefully I make the most of it.”
Quote of the Day
“You want me to go fast or slow?” – defensive back Jake Galusha to teammate Steve Juedes, asking him how he wanted him to pull a taped pad off his back.
In addition to Osborn, center Tim Walter is also expected to play this weekend after sitting out the previous three games. Hanie (ankle) was on the field Wednesday and figures to play. Senior safety Ben Stratton (neck and shoulder) will not play.
As of Wednesday, student tickets for the Rams (3-1, 0-0) game against sold out at the Lory Student Center. There are still student tickets remaining for pickup at the McGraw Athletic Center.
Football beat writer Brett Okamoto can be reached at email@example.com.