Winston Journal #2

Offensive lineman Eric Winston is returning for his senior season and is excited about the 2005 team. He suffered a season-ending ACL injury in the fourth game of the season on October 2. Winston has decided to keep the fans updated throughout his injury rehab and thoughts on various subjects with a journal here at CanesTime.com.

Canes fans,

I am back with another journal entry. So much has changed since my last entry. I am doing real well with my recovery. I can walk normal and before I couldn't put a lot of pressure on my knee. Now I am trying to do some squats and my flexibility on my left leg is just as good as my right leg. I just want to and get it back to game-playing shape as soon as possible.

REHAB
It is hard to tell if I am ahead of schedule or on schedule because I have not went through something like this. All I know is that my knee feels better every day. If it continues to feel better every day, then obviously I am going to get back on the field. I am starting to do some light jogging, I did some lunges yesterday, and some work on balancing—all that kind of stuff. I am pretty sure I am on schedule and probably ahead of where most people would be. As far as I am concerned it is getting better every day and I am trying to do more each day.

Basically since October, I have been working with Ed Garabedian from the Doctor's Hospital right across the street here. Over winter break I went back home to Midland, Texas and I was given a packet to follow as far as daily physical therapy. I did a lot of work by myself at my old high school, Lee High.

After January came around I really started to get back into the weights so I could get my muscles back to the way they should be. Now I am getting ready to work more with the trainers on campus because I will be putting more stress on my knee. Also, I have been with Cory—the assistant athletic trainer and we are starting to do more work with weights. It is more exciting now because I am starting to feel like I can get back on the field soon. It is going to be a lot of work, but that is what we are here to do.

OFF-SEASON WORKOUTS
The team met yesterday for the first time for off-season workouts which means spring practice is just around the corner. Yesterday there was a lot of excitement. I know I enjoyed being back and I love being around all of the guys so it is always fun for me. It is about working hard these next couple of months so we can have good spring practices.

The coaches told me they don't want me to do too much in the spring. I was going to try to get back for spring, but they told me there is really no point in getting back and risking things. They are not worried about anything, but there is no sense to rush it. I am not going to push the fact that I could probably do it. I'll probably just end up pushing the sled around a little bit, but they don't want me to do anything where I could prolong my recovery.

I was thinking about some young guys who I am excited to see step up in the spring, but it is hard to say. We have so many guys coming back with a lot of experience. I think the one guy I am excited to watch is Willie Williams. He didn't really get a chance to show what he can do except leading up to the bowl game. He was on the practice squad and was all over the place making a number of tackles. I want to see how he does and I think he will be fun to watch. He definitely has the athletic ability to do well so now it is just a matter of him going out and doing it.

NFL DRAFT
Last Saturday was the early entry deadline for the NFL Draft and I thought about entering. But I looked at it like this. I worked my whole life to not only be drafted for the NFL—but my goal was to be drafted high. I always felt that I could play at a high level and I always wanted to be something special. I didn't want to go early, just to go--even though I probably would have been drafted late in the first round. I have been waiting my whole life for this so I also looked at it like if I have a good year this year I could have a chance to go really early.

Roscoe Parrish and Frank Gore did decide to leave early and I wish them the best of luck. Roscoe had a good year last year and he looked at the situation like his status was as high as it would get. If he came back it is not like he would have gotten a lot faster. I don't see how he could move up any better than he already has. It might have been like his sophomore season where he might not have had a chance to put up a lot of production. And also, once you reach your playing potential you have to go. With Frank, it was a tough decision for him. He had a lot on his mind to think about. It is hard for me to comment on his situation because it is so much more complicated than anyone else's situation. He has a lot of factors to deal with and a lot of people he has to take care of. It is hard to say anything about his decision.

RECRUITING
Things have been going well with recruiting. Guys have been coming in and enjoying their visits. I get on here every now and again to check their rankings and see how we are doing. I think we will have another solid class. One thing to keep in mind is that it doesn't matter how many stars are by your name—it only matters how you come in and perform.

My second journal entry here at CanesTime.com is complete. I want to have another one before signing day. It should be exciting!

-EW-

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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