University of Arkansas quarterback recruit Casey Dick never thought he would ever be mentioned in the same sentence as Curt Shilling and really isn't that pleased about it.
Even though the Boston Red Sox pitcher is considered a hero and courageous battler, Schilling and the Allen (Texas) standout are grouped together because they suffered a similar ankle injury.
"When I went in to see the doctor, he told me I had the same kind of injury as Schilling did," Dick said. "I thought ‘oh, great, this is going to be tough.'"
Dick (6-2, 200), who committed to the Razorbacks back in the summer, suffered the injury is his team's 30-24 first-round playoff win over Arlington Lamar at Texas Stadium - the home of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys.
"I just dropped back and threw a pass and knew immediately something went wrong," Dick said. "Nobody hit me or anything, but it just kind of gave way."
Dick passed for 1,942 yards and 14 touchdowns and rushing for 401 yards and another 8 scores.
But the injury caused him to miss his 9-3 team's season-ending loss to USA Today top-ranked team Southlake Carroll and he had surgery soon afterwards.
"They went in and repaired it by taking a tendon from my chest and inserting it under my ankle," Dick said. "They also put some screws or prongs in there, but they are biodegradable and will just go away. Kinda strange, but it's interesting how they do things these days."
Dick,who will take his official visit to Arkansas on Jan. 21-23 along with teammate and fellow UA commit Marcus Shavers, recently visited the doctor for a check up recently and was enthused with what he heard.
"I was doing really well and they were really surprised with the way things were healing ," Dick said. "I was in a hard cast for four weeks. Now I am starting to get into the rehab with a lot of flexibility exercises."
He should be fine by the time he and defensive end Shavers (6-4, 245) arrive in Fayetteville this summer.
"I think Marcus and I are going to come up in July and try to start getting acclimated to things," Dick said. "I should be all ready to go by that time."
He knows Arkansas has had Robert Johnson and Alex Mortensen on campus and is also bringing in former Atlanta Braves minor leaguer Cole Barthel.
"I know they have two good guys already up there who have a headstart on us and I am smart enough to know that making the jump from high school to college is not a simple one," Dick said. "I want to just come up there, do my best and try to fit in however they need me, too. I know the coverages are going to be much different than I am used to. If they need me to watch and learn, that is what I will do."
Several schools kept calling him even after he had committed to Arkansas.
"But I made it clear I was going to be a Razorback and there really was no way I was going to change my mind," Dick said.
That said, he was aware of LSU asking for permission to talk to UA head coach Houston Nutt and Nutt then removing his name from consideration.
"Some people called me and asked me if I was worried, but I just told them he is solid with Arkansas," Dick said. "I never really thought he would leave. I think he believes in what he is doing there and he really loves being at Arkansas. But, hey, we've all got to listen."
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