BYU’s Pendleton Healthy and Ready to Go
BYU linebacker Jordan Pendleton is as healthy as he has been in a long, long time.
That’s some real bad news for Cougar opponents this season.
The 6-3, 235 senior has been plagued by shoulder and knee injuries the past couple of seasons.
He injured his knee at Utah State last season while he was nursing a shoulder problem through the first five games of 2010.
When his knee failed to respond to treatment the decision was made to repair both his knee and shoulder last December. Earlier in his career, Pendleton underwent surgery to repair his other shoulder.
On Saturday, Jordan said he feels healthy and is ready to go for his senior season. For the first time in what seems like an eternity, he was able to go full out on the first day of fall camp. And he looked very good doing so.
“That was my main goal to come out and be able to do everything. I wanted to come out and show the coaches that I’m ready, and also the players that I’m ready. I just wanted to come out and give it my all,” said Pendleton following Saturday’s first practice of the season.
“Am I sore? Absolutely. I’ve had a lot of trauma to my body… there’s some soreness, but as far as my knee, I felt great.”
Bronco Mendenhall says that Jordan will likely be held out of a lot of contact in practices throughout the season.
“With him, there aren’t any trust issues in terms of how hard he is going to work, so with him him you might see us manage his practice differently based on his injury history,” Mendenhall told reporters on Saturday.
When asked if it was nice to see a healthy Pendleton out on the field on the first day of practice Bronco responded with, “Better than nice! He did a great job. He’s in excellent shape. He’s really motivated. He’s a really good leader and a great player.”
Pendleton came to BYU as a 195-pound wide receiver, but was switched to defensive back after arriving on campus. His commitment in the weight room saw him pack on 40 pounds of muscle on his athletic frame and grow into an outside linebacker. With the speed of a receiver and the body of super hero, Jordan would be a good candidate to star in a movie entitled RoboBacker if such a movie were ever to be made.
By the time his sophomore season rolled around he was a one-man wrecking crew. He burst onto the scene in BYU’s 2009 season-opening win over Oklahoma. On the big stage of a nationally televised game in Dallas Cowboys Stadium, he flew around the field like a guided missile and wreaked havoc on the Sooner offense. But it was in that game that he suffered his first shoulder injury, forcing him to play through tremendous pain the remainder of the season.
The truth is, Pendleton has never been fully healthy since being switched to linebacker three seasons ago. People who know Jordan well will tell you that he’s wired differently than most folks, some might say his just a bit crazy. Most great linebackers are usually a little different, and its that crazed drive that has pushed him to play through pain throughout his career.
One can only imagine what kind of player he can been if he can avoid injury for a full season. Hopefully this will be the year that we see a completely healthy RoboBacker turned loose on the free world.
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