Guy eager to return to action

Football is a game of inches. Exiting a downtown Louisville nightclub early on the morning of July 5th, University of Louisville junior wide receiver Trent Guy was shot in the back and came within inches of losing his life. Now, one month later, Guy eagerly anticipates returning to action.

That's the night life changed – and almost ended - for the speedy Guy. After an altercation inside the bar, assailants opened fire on Guy and his fiancé as they exited the club. Nineteen shots were fired. One hit Guy in the back.

Now more than one month after the shooting, Guy feels blessed to be alive.

"It was a tough situation for me and I'm blessed to be here," Guy said. "It was a miracle. God was watching out for us that night. There were 19 shots fired and I got hit once – and in the right place. An inch to the right I could have gotten hit in the spine; an inch to the left would have hit vital organs. So I'm a very blessed young man."

Since the shooting, Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe has instituted a team-wide curfew and has put nightclubs off-limits for his players. Guy, who caught 11 passes for 177 yards last season, has spent time talking with his teammates since the shooting about the dangers of night-life.

"I have talked to the guys about being smart and watching where (they) go," said Guy. "Crazy people are everywhere. Situations like that don't usually happen but I have talked to the guys about being cautious and watching what they do."

The shooting has certainly changed Guy's outlook on life. While his assailants still haven't been caught, Guy said he has no desire for the night-life after what happened outside the downtown nightclub.

"I haven't gone out since the situation and I don't think I will go out for the rest of my time in college," Guy said. "I've (started) to go to church more and bible study. I'm going to leave some of that stuff alone for a while.

Trent Guy hopes to return to action soon.

"They haven't caught those guys and I'm just going to put it in God's hands. I don't feel any way towards those guys. I pray about the situation every night and I pray for those guys. If they get caught they do, if they don't, oh well."

The silver lining in the shooting?

"The guys have grown a lot closer," Guy said. "When things like this happen it tends it tends to bring guys closer (together). We've been doing things together and staying out of night clubs."

"It's a sobering situation because the guys understand that life is very fragile," Kragthorpe said. "Football is a game of inches and Trent was probably four inches away from where that bullet hit from not being here right now."

While he was laying in the hospital recovering from surgery, Guy received an outpouring of support from his coaches and teammates and lots of ordinary people in the Louisville area. That support meant a lot to Guy.

"It was a great feeling that let me know I'm loved by a lot of people – not just my teammates but people in the community," Guy said.

So what's next for Guy? On Friday, he resumed running. Guy's hopeful that doctors will clear him to return to action in the next couple weeks.

"I am pain free," Guy said. "I'm just ready to get back on the field. I'm waiting for the doctor to release me."

Getting back on the field is extremely important to Guy. He said the thought that went through his mind right after the shooting was whether he would ever get the opportunity to play football again. Since doctors told him he would, Guy has been eager to get back on the field as quickly as he possibly can.

"If I can play I want to be a part of the team," Guy said. "If I could suit up for the UK game I would. I'm just waiting on my doctor to clear me and whenever that is I'll be out there playing."

Kragthorpe says Guys is chomping at the bit to get back on the field.

"I know Trent is chomping at the bit and I have to pull him back every day. I've got the reins on him," Kragthorpe said. "I've got to pull him back. He's like a thoroughbred on the back stretch. You've got to settle him down for the stretch run."

Now that he's resumed running and expects to be cleared medically later this month for contact, does Guy believe there's a chance he could play against the Wildcats? "Oh no, not at all," Guy said. "I haven't been going through camp at all. I will probably suit up for that game but I probably won't go in."

Since fall practice began early last week, Guy has been on the practice field serving as a quasi-grad assistant. He's been helping Kragthorpe , who also serves as UofL's receiver coach, teach Louisville's talented freshmen wide receivers the ropes of college football.

"Coach K has me teaching the young guys like Jacques (Caldwell)," said Guy. "It's a learning experience for me and it helps me learn plays and defenses."

Kragthorpe says the experience should prove beneficial for the 5-foot-9, 160-pound Guy.

"I think it's good for Trent because he's seeing the game from a different perspective," Kragthorpe said. Trent's doing a great job for us. I've made him a student assistant coach in the interim and he's with the wide receivers every day. I think it's good for him because he's getting a lot of mental repetitions."

So when will Guy return to action for the Cards? Guy said he thinks his doctor will OK him for contact on August 20 – more than a week and a half before the season-opener against arch-rival Kentucky.

"I guess I'll do a lot more like run routes and try to participate with the team," said Guy.

"As soon as the doctor says it's OK for Trent to play then we'll put him in there but we're not going to do anything without his approval and our trainer's approval," Kragthorpe said. "He started running yesterday and he's catching (passes) off the jugs machine. I anticipate right around the first part of September he'll be released for contact and full go. Then we'll see how fast he can get back. It's going to be on his time-table. When Trent says he's ready to play I'm going to play him."

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