Before true freshman Mark Zalewski suffered a sprained left hamstring about midway through fall camp, he had already jumped into the mix for playing time. He is still listed on the two-deep, bracketed with Kyle McCorison as the No. 2 Mike linebacker behind Jeff Mack.
The sprain did not result from any contact. It was a re-aggravation of an injury originally suffered during track last year.
"I pulled it in track last year, and it was just from sprinting," Zalewski said. "It just kind of popped….but it's been feeling better. Pretty much anytime I don't have a class or something, they want me to come in every morning, ice it after practice, and do a lot of rehab."
Zalewski said he's getting closer to being cleared to play, but he's not sure exactly when that will be.
"It's been tough, especially to sit on the sidelines for the games," Zalewski said. "Even if I could contribute on special teams, I just want to get out there. I was doing pretty well (before the injury). It happens I guess."
Zalewski said other members of the defense have made special efforts to keep him up to speed and help him get through the injury. He's unsure how much he will play when he gets healthy, but indications are he will not redshirt this season.
"Any way I can see the field, I want to go out there and try to make a name for myself and do what I'm supposed to do. And maybe they'll give me a chance on defense. Whatever I can do," Zalewski said.
Update on Mark Zalewski
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