Serious Injury Gives Krula New Perspective

Zach Krula probably didn't expect his ankle injury in the third game of the 2005 season, to knock him out for the next season and a half. He certainly didn't want his Sun Devil career to end on the sidelines. After being granted a sixth year of eligibility, not only does the senior have a new lease on life, but also a stronghold as a starter on ASU's offensive line.

After a season-ending ankle injury in September 2005 against Northwestern, Krula has been in rehabilitation preparing for this final opportunity to get back on the field. "It's a dream come true. It's pretty much a blessing in disguise, I didn't think I was going to get this year back," he said enthusiastically. "It was just a weight lifted off my shoulders to know that I could play again."

Though he is now ready to hit the practice field, Krula says that his workouts during rehab were mentally and physically more challenging than any regular practice. However, over the course of his two-year battle he was rehabbing side by side with fellow offensive linemen Andrew Carnahan and Stephen Berg, among others, who suffered season-ending injuries themselves in 2006. Ultimately, being in the same boat as his comrades made the process easier. "I had to step up to a new level of mental toughness, he said, "[but] I could see two familiar faces going through the same stuff as me."

Though one might find it difficult to watch from the sidelines, Krula contended, "Watching people who I've cried with, bled with, sweated with and see them do good…it sucks not being out there, but for my boys to be doing well, that is just as good as me being out there having a fun time."

Now, two years later he is one of the boys again. He's eager to play hard, win big, and have fun. This season Krula and his offensive teammates are faced with a period of transition with a new coaching staff and a new offense scheme.

Though many faces on the team have never played with Krula he optimistically said, "I can learn a whole new group of names and faces and hopefully be a role model for some people and a friend to others. I like the new team; it's going to be fun."

Though the offense is still in the learning curve phase, they're getting it down, he assures. He added that everyone from the coaching staff to the last player has a positive outlook for the upcoming season.

In fact, Krula himself thinks the Sun Devils have a chance to be Pac-10 champions as well as national champs in the 2007 campaign. "We say that every year," he said, "but this year if we bust our butts it really could happen. We didn't lose too many guys last year and the guys coming up, they're hungry. We're all hungry so we're going to do well."

Through his injury and success with eligibility Krula has learned that every day is special because there are no guarantees. "I try to have a lot more fun every day during practice just because it's not promised . . . [playing football] is fun so I might as well have fun doing it."

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