The past few years have been somewhat of a roller coaster ride for Glendora (Calif.) Citrus C.C. defensive back Dane Cruikshank.
He accomplished his goal of earning a D-I football scholarship, but at the same time his impact at the junior college level was somewhat diminished by injuries.
Fortunately for Cruikshank, he is a quick healer and is ready to take the next step in his football journey.
“Stuff happens for a reason," Cruikshank said. "In a weird way the rehabilitation showed me how desperate a player has to be about getting better every day.
"Not being able to play while everyone else was getting better was frustrating, but it focused me on my rehab. Now that I’m full go I’m taking that same mindset to improving as a player.”
Although Cruikshank did not sign on Wednesday, he took some time to reflect on the overall meaning of the day.
“I’m going to kind of remember how I got to this point, because it hasn’t been easy," Cruikshank said. " That also makes it even more impressive.
"Nothing was ever handed to me, yet I got to the same point every other kid wants to get to. It goes to show that you don’t need to be a big-time recruit to play big-time college football.”
The Arizona coaches plan on Cruikshank making an immediate contribution.
“The coaches said from the beginning that they like my size and they like how I can match up with a bunch of different receivers," Cruikshank said.
"Everyone knows a few of the guys in the secondary are graduating, so I’m going to a top 25 program where I might be able to play right away. That would have seemed like a bit of a stretch a few years ago.”