Brock Vandagriff sat on his parents’ couch for two weeks tormented by isolation, disappointment, and the physical pain that came with the surgery that repaired his broken fibula in the Wolverines’ loss to Wesleyan on Sept. 6.
The Sour Patch Kids, posters and pop-up visits provided to him by teammates, PACS’ cheerleaders and the occasional passerby member of the community helped Vandagriff feel somewhat normal, but without football Vandagriff felt ‘lost’.
Dealing with being unable to play football and being confined to the house and limited in physical activity for the first few weeks after the surgery has given Vandagriff a new perspective on other athletes going through the same thing he went through the last two months.
“You feel kind of lost,” Vandagriff said. “It was just not how it should have been and it’s just not how it should be. It makes you feel good about those people that are coming and supporting you. I’m going to start doing it if other people get injured. I know how much it means to them when they’re down.”
Vandagriff feels like one of the lucky ones. He made his return to the Wolverines’ starting lineup on Friday night against Lakeview Academy, roughly two weeks ahead of when it was first thought he’d be cleared to play. Vandagriff attacked his rehab aggressively and added some size and strength in his upper body during his time off.
In terms of performance it was as if he’d never missed a play. Vandagriff went 14-for-15 with 298 yards passing and five touchdowns. His performance has made Vandagriff this week’s Oconee Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation/Oconee Enterprise Athlete of the Week.
His performance aside, Vandagriff won’t be taking a single snap for granted the rest of this season or any of the upcoming football seasons in the future.
“The one thing I’ve learned is to not take any rep for granted,” Vandagriff said. “It can be taken away just like that. Football is what I love. I would hate to see that happen. I’m going to go after it every practice, every game as if it’s going to be my last.”
Oconee Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation/Oconee Enterprise Athlete of the Week is chosen by the sports staff of The Oconee Enterprise. You are welcome to email nominations to email@example.com by Monday at 10 a.m. Oconee Physical Therapy & Sports Rehabilitation can be reached at www.oconeept.com