Austin Barrick - It Was Really Tough

Offensive tackle Austin Barrick has dealt with the frustration of watching his teammates march to the ACC title while sitting on the sidelines with a broken heel. Barrick has finally been cleared and is anxiously awaiting his return to the practice field in preparation for the Orange Bowl.

You hurt your heel during the Vanderbilt game. Did you know how bad it was when you hurt it?

"I knew something was messed up. I thought it was just a high ankle sprain or a really bad rolled ankle. I didn't know my heel was broken. I just pushed through it. I just wanted to win the game and do the best I could. We just taped it up real good and I went back in and played another quarter. After the game they told me that it was broken."

Is that an unusual injury?

"I'd say it's pretty unusual. I've never heard of anyone breaking their heel before."

When do you get to remove the red jersey off and start practicing again?

"Actually I did some running today and coming out of my stance and stuff. I might be non-contact tomorrow. I'll just be able to go through individuals. That's still contingent on what the doctor says."

How difficult was it to sit through all those games watching what the team was going through?

"It was really tough especially when we were in the chase for the ACC championship. You play all year with the guys and finally get to the championship game and you can't play in it. It was really hard but the guys stepped in for me and did a really good job so that made it easy."

Did you have a chance to take a close look at the ones that filled in for you?

"Phil Smith stepped up big time. I think he really matured with the last four games. Whenever Nick (Claytor) played, and he was dealing with some injuries, he really stepped up and Clyde did too. Everybody stepped up and did real well."

Is your conditioning going to be an issue moving forward?

"I'm obviously a little out of shape after six weeks. I'm going to be busting it real hard the next few weeks and hopefully be ready to go."

Have you been able to do any lifting during those six weeks?

"Coach (Eric) Ciano put me on an injury workout program. I've been working out four days a week with him in the mornings along with some of the other guys. I'm getting jacked and my triceps are getting a little bigger from the pressing."

Is the plan to insert you in the lineup if you're ready?

"I'm not sure. Right now Nick is starting. I'm just going to come back and play as hard as I can. If they put me in there as a starter that's great and if they don't that's great too. I just want to help the team in any way I can."


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