Powers Redshirt Road Made Tougher By Rehab

Jerraud Powers talks about his recovery from a preseason injury, the redshirt process and getting back on the field.

Auburn, Ala.--The task for any freshman going through the redshirt program is a tough one to say the least, however, that task was even tougher for Jerraud Powers after he broke a bone in his right foot during two-a-days.

"At first I was just getting back on the field going through rehab with just running again and cutting again, and I was just happy doing that and I sort of made good progress," Powers says about the rehab process. "I was just trying to get back to help the team and what not and the rehab went great. Arnold (Gamber head trainer) and those guys did a great job with me and I have been practicing for a few weeks now and it feels fine.

"I am still trying to get all of the soreness out so it will feel normal like my left foot, but other than that I am 100 percent," he adds. "It still gets sore every now and then, but it doesn't bother me."

With Powers' injury coming just prior to the start of the season and the early morning Saturday redshirt workouts it would have been easy for the talented DB to miss a couple of the grueling sessions.

However, he says that was not in his plans. "After I had surgery, I missed the first redshirt workout, lifting-wise," Powers says. "But, basically that next week after I had surgery I woke up just like the other guys and I went up and I was on the bike, one leg on the bike doing that. I just wanted to be a part of the team. I didn't want to just sit back and watch my teammates do stuff with me just sitting there not doing anything because I knew I could still do something even with the hurt leg.

"While they were doing their running I was one leg on the bike and then when we were doing the lifting, if it was an upper body day I did everything they did and if it was a lower body day I did a lot of one leg lower strength stuff," he continues. "I got into redshirt workouts pretty quickly after surgery just because I wanted to be around my teammates. They were going through the process and I wanted to go through the process with them."

Although he was adamant about being involved in as many of the workouts as possible, Powers admits that they were extremely tough.

"The workouts basically get you bigger, stronger and faster," he says. "It prepares you for the level of the guys that are playing on Saturdays because we, obviously, have got to be bigger, stronger and faster to play out there. It is just an experience. You have got coaches early in the morning on your back, yelling and team-wise, the guys that are out there, you have got to come together because once you start complaining about workouts and all of that it gets tougher for you.

"So, if you can go out there thinking that it is going to make you a better player, you are just looking at it as a summer workout," Powers adds. "Something that you just have to do, you have got to get better at and once you're done you know you have gotten better that day. At first it was sort of a struggle for some guys, including myself, just getting used to it, but as the weeks went on everybody was coming together, pulling for each other out there, just working hard and I think it paid off for us."

Jerraud Powers jams fellow freshman Montez Billings off the line in a preseason practice. He had a good performance earlier this week in Auburn's scrimmage for redshirt freshmen.

Along with working hard with his teammates, Powers explains that he was also working long and hard on his rehab effort.

"It took, probably, about two weeks of doing just drills and getting back into cutting," he says. "I remember when I got out there and did my first cutting drill I sort of hesitated on it and I didn't really cut like I should have. I remember telling Arnold how weird it felt, but he told me that was just the process that it was going to take, but it took about two weeks just to get a good feel, just me cutting regularly without hesitating on it and planting differently. Now, cutting-wise, it is not a problem."

Now, with both the rehab and redshirt program effectively behind him, the 5-9, 185-pound defensive back says he is excited about getting back to work with the team. "It is fun to be back out there practicing," he notes. "I am happy I can just go back out there and talk. I am a guy that just loves talking up my other teammates while I am out there practicing. So, it is just fun to be back out there laughing, getting better and having fun with the other guys that are out there."

Powers adds, however, that he may have been a little too happy about getting back to practice at first. "My first day back full speed, at practice, I know we were supposed to be just touching the receivers, but I remember I hit Prechae (Rodriguez) a couple of times," he explains. "I didn't mean to it was just my instincts. I hit him a couple of times and the coaches had to like calm me down. They took me out when I first got in there."

With all of that pent up energy worked out, Powers says he can keep his focus on doing the job that the redshirt players have throughout the season.

"My first objective is to get the older guys ready for Wisconsin," he says about his goals for bowl practice. "Wisconsin is a good ball team and the whole year we have been getting the older guys ready for Saturdays and we've got to get them ready for this game, too. Other than that objective, I am just trying to get better going against some of the older guys and competing. I am trying to get better, trying to get my technique back the way I used to and just trying to have fun."

After the Capital One Bowl, the talented defensive back says he will turn his attention to the 2006 season. "Going into the spring, I am just trying to compete well and show the coaches that I am a hard worker and I know how to compete, just trying to find a spot in the rotation basically," Powers says.

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