Garrison Expects To Return To Full Strength Next Month - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Garrison Expects To Return To Full Strength Next Month

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MORGANTOWN -

West Virginia University Running Back Dustin Garrison has almost completed the long, difficult road to recovery. He suffered a torn ACL at the end of December and missed the Orange Bowl. Months of hard work and patience are finally paying off as Garrison expects to join his teammates in 7-on-7 drills next month.

"I took another test for me knee to see how strong my leg is," Garrison said. "It is getting a lot better. My knee is fine, it is just catching up my quad strength. It is looking like I will be back sometime next month."

Garrison is already taking part in some of the conditioning drills with his teammates. That includes sprints.

"I've been running with the team, not cutting yet, but straight sprints I have been doing," Garrison said. "I have actually been beating some of the guys."

Sprinting and running in a straight line is one thing. Trainers have told Garrison not to do any cutting or juking; however, he says he cannot resist the urge to put the moves on the coffee table or the couch at his apartment.

"I walk around the house and take a couple of plants here and there," Garrison laughed. "It seems stable enough."

Garrison is laughing now, but that certainly was not the case shortly after the injury. He remained in Miami to support his teammates in their preparations for the Orange Bowl. Once that week was over, Garrison says he started to feel depressed.

"The first couple of weeks I was depressed and didn't want to go anywhere," Garrison stated. "I had a couple of roommates who helped me out a lot. Dante (Campbell) and K.J. (Myers) helped me out a lot. They were always making sure I was okay."

Garrison has spent the past six months unable to play the game he loved. Football has been a part of his life for years and suddenly, it was taken away from him. Playing football is not something Garrison plans to take for granted again.

"I have had teammates in high school who had the same injury and they tell me that you never know what you have until it is gone," Garrison said. "I was like yea, whatever. Now that it happened to me I realize it is real serious. You should always take advantage of what you have."

Garrison watched throughout the spring as Andrew Buie and Shawne Alston got a bulk of the carries. Ryan Clarke also got his hands on the ball at the running back spot. That was okay with Garrison who says he wants to earn back his starting position, not have it handed to him.

"I see myself in the back of the pack," Garrison stated. "I don't want (Dana) Holgorsen or (Robert) Gillespie to put me up top. I want to start in the back and earn my way to the top. I know (Andrew) Buie and Shawne (Alston) and even the new guys, have a lot to prove and so do I. I see myself in the back of the depth chart and I want to earn my way to the top."

Not all players enjoy the requirement to visit with the media. It is; however, part of the responsibility that goes along with being a Division I student-athlete. Since it is associated with football, Garrison enjoys it.

"I am so excited," Garrison smiled. "Every time I am doing an interview or anything I am always smiling. I enjoy everything about the game of football."

Garrison smiled throughout the ten minutes he was sitting in front of reporters. It will not be long before he is smiling in 7-on-7 drills as a cleared participant.

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