Eric Winston Journal #1

Offensive lineman Eric Winston is a junior from Midland, Texas who saw his season end early with a torn ACL on October 2 against Georgia Tech. He was named to numerous preseason All-American lists and was having a good season prior to the injury.

Eric Winston has decided to keep the fans updated on his injury rehab and thoughts on various subjects with a journal here at CanesTime.com. He will periodically check in with us throughout the off-season and here is his first journal entry.

Hello Hurricane fans,

I just want to thank everyone for their support throughout my injury. It has been a tough process, but all of the support has helped me get through it.

Right now things are coming along well. It has been a little over eight weeks and I am starting to mix in a little bit of a jog. I am not supposed to be running quite yet, but I am feeling pretty good. The swelling is really going down and it is starting to look like a knee again and feel like a knee again.

The toughest part about this is watching all of your buddies play and watching the team play. The first game against Louisville was the toughest. Walking through the tunnel in crutches and not being able to play in that game was tough. It has gotten a little bit easier now, but it is still hard. It was tough during the hard two weeks again this year against North Carolina and Clemson. I wanted to play more in those games to help our team win more than the games where we were winning. That is the way I look at it. I wanted to be out there and I want to be with them. It has just been tough. It has been a learning experience for me and I have grown a lot from watching. I have also learned a lot from watching.

This is probably my hardest semester since I have been here. I am an international financing major. For me I am proud of my major and I have stuck with it. My classes are going good. I have four upper-level business classes: two marketing and two finance classes. Next semester I have a management class, an elective, an upper-level marking class, and an upper-level finance class. Then I will be graduating. This semester has been pretty tough considering all of the things that have happened to me. The surgery I went through and playing in general is so time consuming. Now dealing with all of this has not been easy, but I have been doing good. I am going to get some good grades this semester.

Two weeks ago the team got a break for Thanksgiving with the bye week. I stayed here for Thanksgiving. I ate and just chilled out. I am not one of those guys that jumps to go back home. I am just not dying to go home anymore. I miss my family and miss everybody there, but if it is not for an extended period of time then it is rough taking the two or three flights to get back to Midland. It was just one of those deals where people around here were staying. My girlfriend's parents were coming down. We just had a big Thanksgiving with them. It was a lot of fun.

My girlfriend, Mallory, has been great through this process. Her and my brother Matt, who I live with, have helped me a lot especially early on. The first four weeks were tough because I couldn't really drive and they had to take me everywhere I needed to go. They were awesome about always being there. Just the little things around the house when I couldn't get up for the first couple of weeks. They made sure I had little things like water and anything I needed. They made sure I was comfortable. Sometimes I couldn't even roll over. They have been really great in helping me.

I enjoy watching college football and paying attention to what is going on around the country. The BCS bowls have been decided and it is one of those deals that was bound to happen. You could have had a bunch of teams with one loss at the end of the year like last year. There is no formula to figure it all out that we could possibly use that you will definitely have the two top teams in the country playing each other. Until they decided they want to put a playoff together that is how it is going to be. It is the system everyone has bought into and is 100 percent better than it used to be. At least we will have a game this year with two of the top three teams where as before all three of those teams could be in different bowls. It is better than it used to be, but it is not going to be perfect unless we have a playoff.

I think Auburn is definitely the top team. I have watched USC and Oklahoma play also and I don't see them matching up well with Auburn. The way Notre Dame ran the ball against USC, you would have to figure Auburn would do at least the same or if not better. They have a quarterback, Jason Campbell, who is really coming along and a defense to go with it. They can run with anyone and can cover people. It is sad that they are ranked third and the only reason was because of where they started in the preseason polls. There is something to winning out and you cant take anything away from USC and Oklahoma because they have been doing what they are supposed to, winning. Matt Leinart, Jason White, and Adrian Peterson are great players. I met Adrian last year on his visit and you could tell he was going to be a player. He definitely has the total package. I am excited about next year and excited about college football in general. I can't wait to get back on the field and get going again.

The Heisman Trophy has gotten a lot of talk this year about who should win it. I think Leinart and White are two pretty fantastic players. I think probably one of those two will win it. I don't know if they should or not. I think there have been a lot of good players. I don't know if anyone totally separated themselves from the field. I think those two guys have separated themselves the most and I think they will win it and probably rightfully so. We'll see who will win it, but they definitely played well enough to win it.

I went to high school with Cedric Benson of Texas. He is another player having a great season this year. We don't keep in tough too much and didn't really stay in contact after high school. We were close in high school, but we just went our separate ways. He is having a great season and if he is not invited to New York for the presentation, he should be. He has had a heck of a career rushing for over 1,000 yards each year. He has always run over a lot of people and will be a great back in the NFL next year.

That is it for my first journal entry here at CanesTime. I will have another entry prior to the Peach Bowl on December 31. Keep reading.

Eric Winston is working with CanesTime Staff Writer Christopher Stock on his journal entries. If you have any questions, comments, or topics of interest for Eric you can send an email to stock@canestime.com.

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