Winston Journal #7

Senior offensive lineman Eric Winston offers his thoughts in his most recent journal entry. Winston and his teammates are currently preparing for the season opener against Florida State on September 5.

I figured I'd start my first journal entry heading into the season by answering the most frequently asked questions I¹ve been receiving this summer. These are questions from media, fans, and friends that I answer all the time and I thought this would be the best place to start.

Frequently Asked Question #1
How's your knee?

For the few who do not know, I injured my left knee in the fourth game of last season against Georgia Tech. It was a season-ending injury in which I tore several ligaments, needed surgery, and eight months of intense rehab every day to come back from it. In short, my knee feels awesome. I was so lucky that I had what some people think is the one of the best orthropedic doctors in the nation (Dr. Uribe) do my surgery. I was also very lucky to have a great physical therapist (Ed Garibedian) handle the first part of my rehab. Ed was the same therapist that worked with former Miami running back Willis McGahee after his injury and since our injuries were similar, he had a great program for me. I also owe Cory Bennett, my former athletic trainer at Miami, for handling the second phase of my rehab that dealt with heavy lifting and running.

If you guys read this, know that I will always be grateful for everything you did for me. We have finished two-a-days and I wish my body felt as good as my knee. I have been playing football for 11 years now and the first two weeks of every season never feel good on the body. Through the rehab process there are points that really test you mentally and physically. Throughout the summer I put my knee through every possible physically demanding regimen I could, along with the unbelieveably hard workouts we are put through by our strength and conditioning coach.

Going into camp there was only one more mental block to get through--What happens when someone falls on it? Well, nothing. Two days ago during a drill called "inside run" I down-blocked on the defensive tackle and then it happened. The tight end blocked his guy into my left knee. I winced for a second as I went down to the ground then quickly realized that my knee was fine and I got up off the ground and went back to the huddle.

Frequently Asked Question #2
How good is Kyle Wright going to be?

This question is a favorite of the media. They ask me as if I am going to say something other than great. But sometimes the answers are really that clear. Kyle is our quarterback and he definitely has all the tools. He is 6-foot-4, 220 pounds and has a good arm with great accuracy. Now if it were only that easy. He obvioulsy has to go on the field and prove it. The thing that he realizes though is that he doesn't have to do it himself. Kyle is going to have a solid offensive line in front of him, combined with the deepest receiving corps I have seen since I have been here.

With all that talent around him, Kyle doesn¹t have to do anything spectacular other than throw the easy routes to the great athletes and let them do the rest. These receivers are so fast that a 10-yard hitch route could go 70 yards for a touchdown very easily, so Kyle will not go out there thinking he has to make all the plays for us to win.

Frequently Asked Question #3
Now that you graduated, what are you going to do?

I graduated in May with a bachelors degree in International Finance and Marketing. The NCAA, unfortunately, requires everybody to be a full-time student, thus requiring 12 hours a semester of class work. I was thinking about going for a MBA or a Master's degree in Public Administration, but none of those degree plans would have worked around my hectic schedule after the season is over with the NFL combine and hopefully other NFL things. With that out of the question I decided to take some classes that helped me out in the future. One of those is real estate law. Real estate is an intriging idea for the future and I want to know some of the laws that surround it. I am taking a couple of sports management classes that ought to be interesting.

I hope everyone likes the idea of my journals and I will be back in two weeks to tell you about one of the most fun games of the year...FSU.

Eric Winston is working with Christopher Stock who is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com

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