April 1, 2014
Briean Boddy-Calhoun was playing with a high level of confidence last season before he suffered a season-ending injury in the second game of the year. Instead of agonizing about his injury, the defensive back used his time away to heal physically and prepare himself for the upcoming season. He is participating in limited spring practice and will be ready to go in the fall? How long did he feel sorry for himself after learning about his injury? Not very. Read what else the Wilmington, Del., native had to say about his comeback.
Q: How are things going this spring, now that you are back practicing?
Briean Boddy-Calhoun: I am trying to get my feet wet a little bit. They are not trying to throw too much at me at once. It's great being back out here. The best thing is just being with these guys. The hardest thing was not being with them for a whole season, so the greatest thing is just being back out here celebrating together and making plays together.
Q: Did you have any, "Woe is me moments?" You always seen to have a big smile on your face.
BBC: For about three minutes. They told me the injury and it hurt me immediately. But then right away I wanted to know how we were going to attack this. You can't cry over spilled milk. My milk was already spilled and it was not going to come back up. I talked with people who had this injury, like Marcus Jones, and they just told me to stay positive. What I have learned from this whole situation is that it is really a mental injury. We have great trainers and they are going to do what they need to do to get you back, but the injury is about you and your psyche. I just kept a positive outlook from day one.
Q: With a medical hardship, you should have two years left now instead of one. That is a pretty long time and something you must be excited about?
BBC: That is a very long time. This is supposed to be my last year, but having two more years will definitely be gratifying. Not only does it help me out, but it allows me to help my teammates and the young guys that will be coming in. I graduate now with Eric Murray, so I can help get him coached up and help get Jalen (Myrick) coached up. It is not only good for me, but good for my teammates.
Q: Did you have to tell yourself to be patient with your injury?
BBC: Of course. You see a lot of guys rush it and I did not want to rush it. It happened in early September, so I knew I had a full year before the season would come back around. I really did not have that mentality where we would need to push the envelope a little bit. I knew we could take our time. I really did not rush it too much, but it was definitely hard going to games every Saturday and watching from the sideline. However, I knew my job was to get healthy and be ready for this year.
Q: Did you have to prevent yourself from getting too down?
BBC: No. Not at all. I am naturally a positive person. I don't like negativity, so I was positive from day one and never looked back.
Q: When you suffer an injury like that, are there any positives?
BBC: Of course. You get more time in the film room and you get to work on your physical weaknesses. Let's say I have had a groin problem, which I had. It allowed me to kind of step back and get my groin 100 percent and get the rest of my body 100 percent. So there are definitely positives that come along with the injury. You get to focus on what you need to get better and that is exactly what I did.
Q: Did you also turn into a player-coach a little bit?
BBC: Coach Kill told me the week after that you are a coach now. I even had Coach Sherels come by and give me a visor like the coaches wear. It was a good feeling.
Q: What did it feel like to step back onto the field this spring?
BBC: It was an amazing feeling because all I wanted to do was warm up. That is kind of weird, but stepping out here on the first day and running around...I really surprised myself with how good I was moving. I did not know how it would go. I thought I was going to be a little bit timid and have my knee in the back of my mind, but it was not like that at all.
Q: Who was an inspiration to you when you were injured?
BBC: Marcus Jones. Marcus Jones. Marcus Jones. He has suffered two ACL injuries in two years and he was the first person in my ear and the first person who inspired me to stay positive and keep going.
Q: You mentioned almost being like a player-coach, do you now look at plays differently after taking that time away and watching more film?
BBC: No, not really. It is still the same perspective. I really got into watching film right before the season. It really helped me as a player and helped me get better, so I would not really say I changed too much. I just changed the quantity and watched more film.
Q: What was the most important thing that Marcus Jones shared with you?
BBC: It may sound redundant, but you have to stay positive. This is a very, very mentally challenging injury. It really hurts you mentally. You go from having a 37-inch vertical to not being able to walk for four months. It is very taxing and really hurts mentally because you cannot do the things you are used to doing. It hurts to sit on the couch, so it really challenges you mentally. It really hurts when your team is still playing and they are having success. You think about how much you want to be out there. I just had to stay positive, that was the main thing.
Q: Where do you feel like your game was at before the injury?
BBC: I feel like my game was at the best it has ever been in my life. I had some very high confidence coming out of fall camp and it transferred right into the season. I felt like I was at my best physically and mentally.
Q: That had to make the injury even tougher?
BBC: Definitely. But it is good because I know I can get back there. I know where I can go and I know I can go further than that.
Gopher Football: "Find Outs" 1-on-1 Drill
Watch Minnesota Football participate in the 1-on-1 "Find Outs" drill at spring practice earlier this week.
2017 Spring Preview: Receivers
Minnesota's youth at receiver - there is just one senior on the roster - will be tested in 2017. The Gophers return just four players who caught a pass last season.
Gopher Talk 101: HYPRR
What does Gopher Football head coach P.J. Fleck mean when he says "H.Y.P.R.R. Culture" and what do the letters stand for?