Road to Recovery

DeMarcus Granger has had a solid career in a Sooner uniform, but he still would like to be able to come back off his injury and make a contribution to the team's 2009 efforts, as OU tries to make back to the National Title game...

With the Washington Huskies trailing the Sooners 34-0 in the waning seconds of the first half, Sooner defensive tackle DeMarcus Granger surged into the backfield and hit Washington quarterback Jake Locker after the play in what resulted in a 15-yard personal foul penalty.

On the ensuing play, Locker scampered away from the charging Granger and the rest of the defensive line for seven yards on a quarterback keeper and met OU middle linebacker Ryan Reynolds, who hammered him to the ground, knocking him out for the season.

But in the process, two Washington linemen gang-blocked Granger to the ground, putting him on the sidelines for the remainder of the contest as well.

And while he didn't miss the rest of the season, he ultimately sat the next two games because of his foot injury.

But after playing a few crucial games over the course of the conference season, the bad news came right before the national championship: Granger would miss the title game.

Granger underwent surgery on his back and was forced to sit out during the national championship game.

And that's where he's at right now, battling back from a long off-season.

"I'm doing everything I can do to show [the coaches] that I can go back out there and play," Granger said. "Right now I'm on the second or third team just because I'm coming off of an injury, but I'm getting as many snaps as I can take with the second team."

Granger said with how the staff is mixing up his playing time, though, he feels pretty good physically.

"The first five days, I was in on every snap, every play," Granger said. "The second two-a-day, our first two-a-day, I pulled back a little bit, and [Wednesday] they pulled [me] back a little bit. They're just checking on me to see how I feel and everything. And I feel pretty good."

Where he's having the most trouble is the mental part of getting back in the flow.

"I mean, again, it's still in the back of a person," Granger said. "[Since] I know I've been hurt, it's still in the back of my head, [but] there have been plays where I have shown potential of my whole self, getting off the ball and doing everything, and there's also plays where I've looked like a person that's just hampered by injuries."

One thing that might make the situation even tougher for Granger is his past.

"I've never had any major injuries, [just some] jammed fingers," Granger said. "I've never had a major surgery set me back. The longest time I'd ever been out was my foot injury here, and I came back from that. I wasn't really out that long. Six months, I've never been out longer than six months. But It's just a thing [where] I have to go and get back in the course."

Sooner fans and coaches agree on one thing, though: having another healthy force like Granger on the defensive front could make the Sooner defense devastating.


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