Getting the strength back

How has 2013 signee Josh Banderas' rehab been going? Does he still feel he plays for the Huskers this fall? Come inside to hear the latest from the All-American. If you don't have a BRR premium membership, you are missing out.

LINCOLN, Neb. - Nebraska signee and almost Lincoln Southwest graduate Josh Banderas has been called a weight room and gym rat, so when he was shut down from all physical activity for three weeks after shoulder surgery it stressed out the All-American linebacker.

"It killed me, I mean really bothered me," said Banderas. "When the doctors told I could start doing pushups, I was so happy. I couldn't do bench press obviously, but at least it was something."

Banderas, the defending state champion in the Class A 110-meter high hurdles, has since been on the road to recovery, getting back on the track or the first time last week.

Rehab has gone as planned, but it doesn't mean it hasn't felt like an eternity for the senior.

"I'm slowly getting back my strength. I lost a lot of weight when I had the surgery and my eating was sort of off," said Banderas, who still feels he will make a push for playing time this fall.

"I think I'm ready. I took a little hit physically because of my shoulder, but it's healed up and I feel better than ever. I have a whole summer to get the weight program going. I fully expect to go out there and have the coaches say, 'we have to get this guy on the field.' I don't want to make it an option for them."

During his senior year at Southwest, Banderas rushed for 1,237 yards on 189 carries, racking up 119 tackles in the process on the defensive side of the ball. Special teams wasn't an option. He was physically drained from playing both sides of the football, but the local product realizes there might be opportunities in that area of the game in 2013 for a freshman.

"I think that is where I'm going to get most of my playing time and really put my name on the map. During the Army game, I really hadn't played special teams for Southwest because of me playing both offense and defense, but I loved going out there and run a little bit. I think I can make an impact on special teams," said Banderas, who also has a plan at what linebacker spot he would like to play.

"I think I'm going to start at the WILL. I don't know, maybe it's just because it's the next opening, but eventually if I put on the weight, maybe I go to the MIKE. There are a lot of big guys there. I'm not always a fan of them (smiling). We will see. I will start at the WILL and go from there."

Banderas took the role as class leader for the 2013 class – constantly staying on top of recruiting and making calls, texts, and social media messages to other prospects. Since, he's taken a step back in the area to focus more on his development.

"I don't know if I'm burned out, but it's not on the top of my things to do anymore," said Banderas. "I'm busy studying film they gave me, finishing up high school, and running track. I know Giff (Luke Gifford, 2014 Nebraska commitment) is on top of it though, so I guess I'm not worried about it as much. I know he's doing a good job."

Currently Big Red Report projects Banderas as the back-up to Zaire Anderson at the WILL. If he redshirts in 2013, we would be very surprised.

Josh Harvey has covered college football and recruiting for Fox Sports & since 2008. He is now the Publisher of Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics.
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