Interview: Navy's Adam Ballard

How tough is Navy fullback Adam Ballard? Most people don't know this, but Ballard's ankle was broken before last year's game against Army. His left ankle. Ballard busted it three weeks earlier against Eastern Michigan and still played against Temple the next week and Army two weeks later. He broke his right ankle three plays into the Army game and didn't return.

Ballard is one tough customer and isn't complaining about his bad break.. He's feeling good and getting ready for a big 2007 campaign. Ballard, a junior, recently talked to

GM: How are you feeling? Back to 100 percent yet?
AB: I'd say I'm at about 75 percent. I was really sore after practice the other day. It's just something I have to work through. I think I will be 100 percent by August.

GM: What's the rehab been like?
AB: It was pretty painful. This is the first serious injury I've had since I started playing football when I was eight-years-old. To be at last year's bowl game and not be able to anything was disappointing. It was painful at first, trying to walk and, then, run. I was real cautious. I didn't want to get hurt again. But I know I will be all right.

GM: What are your goals for spring practice?
AB: Obviously, just to get better in spring. I'd like to instill a certain amount of comfort with myself and (quarterback) Kaipo (Noa Kaheaku-Enhada). And win my job.

GM: Looks like Eric Kettani might challenge you for the starting job. Your thoughts?
AB: It seems like whoever is No. 2 they always make it out to be this big Hollywood thing where we duke it out. When I came in, they were talking about Kyle Eckel and Matt Hall. Now, it's Eric and me. That's how it will always be with coach Johnsom here. No matter who is the starter I think there will be competition and I think that's good for all of us.

GM: Did you know the injury you sustained against Army was bad right away?
AB: No, not initially. I thought I may have cracked or sprained it. But once the doctor felt around, he said it's broken. I said it can't be broken, it doesn't hurt that bad. The x-ray showed it was bad.

GM: How tough was it sitting on the sidelines the rest of the game?
AB: It was really tough.I felt I had a good feel for what Army's defense was going to do. My family were in the stands that day. It was really tough, frustrating. That's just football. I'm very fortunate that I haven't had any serious injuries in 14 years.

GM: What are your goals for Navy this season?
AB: We have a pretty challenging schedule. I guess my goal would be to go undefeated against the service academies. It would be great to say we never lost to a service academy and go to a bowl game and win. I'd like to beat Notre Dame. Those are the general things, the things that will probably come up when the team meets.

GM: And for yourself?
AB: It's hard to talk about without coming off full of yourself. Of course, having no fumbles is something I pride myself on. I want to improve my blocking, passing and up the field. Those are just a few of them. I certainly have some numbers I want to get.

GM: Any thoughts on your senior season, your last at Navy?
AB: It's kind of hard to believe. It's kind of cliche to say, but it seems like just got here as a freshman. It's kind of sad, but I'm really excited and, hopefully, will do my best.

GM: Your plans after graduation?
AB: I will still be writing country songs. I'm going to be commissioned in the Marine Corps and become an infantry officer.

GM: Good luck with season and your military career, Adam! We are all pulling for you. Top Stories