Published February 20, 2013 - 12:15pm
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SEC fans haven’t been formally introduced to Missouri running back Henry Josey yet. After all, he missed the entire 2012 season due to a gruesome knee injury he suffered late in the 2011 season against Texas.
And at the time, Josey’s injury was described as ‘one in a million’ by the doctor who performed the surgery.
“It’s a tragic fluke, a one-in-a-million type of injury, and, unfortunately, to a guy who is so gifted with speed and mobility and agility,” said Dr. Pat Smith, Josey’s surgeon. “You don’t see this. In 26 years, I’ve never seen this.”
Those are words no player wants to hear, especially being the first guy to pave the way for an “I’ve never seen this” type of injury.
Josey suffered a torn ACL, MCL and ruptured patellar tendon in his left knee that left him sidelined and high-fiving Missouri players in 2012, rather than competing and helping his team win.
Josey was a three-star prospect exiting high school from Angleton, Texas, and he made an impact starting in just his first year. He recorded 76 carries for 437 yards and five touchdowns as a freshman, and the quick burst, along with ability and vision, was very evident even as a newby splitting carries with De’Vion Moore and Kendial Lawrence.
And Lawrence had a strong 2012 campaign that saw him rush for more than 1,000 yards and amass 12 touchdowns, but he doesn’t come close to scratching the surface of the potential Josey had before his injury. In fact, Josey tore it up prior to his injury in ‘11, totaling 145 carries for 1,168 yards and nine touchdowns in just nine full games, averaging a nasty 8.1 yards per carry. He even nabbed six 100-yard games and one 200-yard, three-touchdown electrifying performance against Western Illinois.
There was a noticeable drop off in the entire offense in 2012, plagued in part by a injury-filled offensive line and a banged up dual-threat quarterback, but Henry Josey was one of the biggest reasons the offense faded into black.
Missouri is breaking in a new offensive coordinator in 2013 in Josh Henson, who was promoted after David Yost resigned for ‘personal reasons’ after the head-shaking offensive output. Henson is likely to bring more of a power-run mindset to the Tigers’ offense, and a healthy Henry Josey, James Franklin and offensive line would be a great kick starter for the first-time coordinator.
Gary Pinkel knows what Josey brings to the table, including his dynamic ability to make tacklers miss in the open field, and he certainly hopes Josey makes a big impact in 2013.
“I marvel at the kid,” said Pinkel. “There’s always a smile on his face. He works so hard and I hope he can get back to the level he was playing at. It gives me chills to talk about seeing him hopefully ready for spring football.”
Josey still has two more years of eligibility starting in 2013, and like Pinkel, it’s time the SEC gets a chance to marvel at him, too.
Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports