"I feel great," linebacker Myles Davis said on Friday night. " I been waiting for this for a real long time.
"I always dreamed about this day coming."
What Davis is referring to is his long rehab after three knee surgeries since suffering the injury in September of 2010. The tough road back was shortened earlier Friday, when Davis saw his doctor for one final physical test to determine if he could participate in spring football at Syracuse.
"Passed with flying colors," he texted as soon as he left the doctor's office.
But the elation Davis felt was met with the relief that the process is nearly over.
"At some points I was thinking to myself: ‘Is it ever going to come?'" Davis said – referring to today. "I'm just really blessed to be where I'm at right now."
The 6-foot-1, 235-pound mike backer had to complete a series of running, agilities and lifting in order to be cleared.
"I ran a mile-and-a-half, two miles on the treadmill to start my therapy and after that we did some lifting, some single-leg squat type-of-stuff," he said.
Even after the workout test, Davis' leg was still feeling good enough to play.
"The leg is feeling great, I feel stronger than ever,"said Davis. "I feel very explosive."
The combination of sped an strength was evidenced by the results of the test. Davis registered a 4.3-second short shuttle on three straight tries, showing the necessary consistency to be deemed "good to go."
"The doctor said my movements were real natural, he said it looked like I have no lag at all," Davis added.
The Next Step
Now that Davis is healthy, he must adjust to the college game and the college life – something he knows will also be a challenge. And it starts on Saturday when he and his family drive a handful of hours up to snowy Syracuse.
"It's just going to be crazy getting away from them," said Davis.
Though tough, the physical specimen knows it will be a welcomed change.
Said Davis, "I'm looking forward to it because back when I was at Milford (Academy) it was like a jail thing. You go to the middle of nowhere and there was barely any civilization there, there were no people there, you got your boys and you got football.
"But up here (in Syracuse) football is on a whole other level, you got more stuff to look forward to. You can have fun and play football at the same time."
Davis' transition on the field will be just as tough, though he has an extra semester to get acclimated to BCS-level competition.
"In the spring, I will not only be able to get my speed up, and stamina back, but I'll be able to shake off the rust," he said. "So I'll be able to come 100 – 50,000 percent during camp."
Physically, Davis is on the way back – but mentally he feels that he is closer than he ever was.
"I been watching football a lot more different than I have in the past," he said. "If I pay attention, I'll be a step ahead in my mind so my body won't have to try to make up for the steps. "
Davis will meet with SU trainers next week to see where he is at in their eyes, though the knee is as healthy as it can be. The only issue doctors told Davis he may encounter is the eventual buildup of scar-tissue – though it is not expected to affect anything for the next few years.
But once on the field and settled in; Davis is ready to get to work with the rest of the ‘Cuse football family.
"I feel like everyone is going to be just like me, playing with a chip on their shoulder after losing those five games (in a row to end the 2011 season),"Davis said. "I can't wait; I just want to compete again."