After a long rehabilitation on his left knee, Tyler Donovan is feeling nearly 100 percent just a few weeks before reporting to Madison.
It's been a long road back for Donovan, the Badger quarterback recruit that tore his anterior cruciate ligament one week before playing in the Wisconsin state championship game.
Donovan said he's taken all the precautions necessary to ensure that he will be fully-recovered when the Badgers take the field for fall camp.
"I'm going through the end of my rehabilitation, plyometrics, that kind of stuff," Donovan said. "I'm really close. I got cleared by the doctor to start running. I just have to be careful…I can lift weights now. I'm at the stage where I'm squatting again, so it's going really good. It feels stable. I feel like it's right on track."
Donovan said his rehab has gone exactly as scheduled, with the goal of returning to full strength by the time he arrived in Madison. The freshman class will report to the dorms on June 15, and the offseason conditioning/training schedule begins in June 17.
While Donovan is not yet 100 percent, he is close, and he hasn't had any problems with the early stages of his return to the weight room and football field.
"I've been getting in the gym a lot and doing a lot of drops, doing the five-step, and it feels great," Donovan said. "There is no bad feeling there. It feels great. I've just been safe with it."
There is no doubt Donovan will need to knock off some rust initially, but he said the rehabilitation has forced him to focus even more. Donovan can't wait to be 100 percent and begin offseason workouts.
"If anything, it's made me even more anxious to get out there," Donovan said. "I just can't wait to get out there and start practicing. I'm looking forward to it. My knee is to the point where nothing is going to hold me back. Coming into practice in mid-June, I'm going all out on it."
One positive is Donovan won't have much pressure this fall to perform outside of scout team situations and in the classroom. He will have time to develop in his role as a tremendous quarterback prospect.
"I'm almost 100 percent positive I will be redshirted this year, and I'm happy with that," Donovan said. "I think that's the best situation for me. I think I need this year to really build things and get into the system and meet the guys."
While Donovan obviously has visions of making a big impression and positioning himself to start following the departure of Jim Sorgi, he expects all of the quarterbacks to remain very friendly with one another.
"I'm good friends with Jimmy, and the other guys I've met. I've talked to them numerous times. We have a good relationship," Donovan said. "They all know that we're there for the same reason, to get that starting job. We keep that in mind, that we're teammates. We're doing what's best for the team. You have to accept your role on the team and do whatever you can do make the team better."
Donovan visited Madison frequently last spring, and he is ecstatic about the direction the UW offense is headed.
"I was looking at the receiving corps that we're bringing in, and the backfield, and it's just amazing," Donovan said. "I think it's going to be spread out a lot more through these next couple of seasons. There's going to be a lot more options in the offense. I think it's going to be a lot more unpredictable."
Tyler Donovan Health Update
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