Stillwater News Press


August 7, 2012

OSU offensive lineman Jonathan Rush healthy, happy

STILLWATER, Okla. — When Jonathan Rush went down with a knee injury against Texas A&M last season, the Oklahoma State senior offensive lineman had only one worry on his mind — could he get a sixth year of eligibility?

“As soon as I got hurt, they drug me to the sideline and our team orthopedic surgeon was like, ‘It doesn’t feel good,’” Rush said. “So the first thing I did was hobble over to our compliance guy and was like, ‘So, can I get a sixth year?’

“And as soon as they told me I could get it, it was just a big relief — a big weight off my shoulder.”

The NCAA granted the eccentric OSU offensive lineman another year towards the end of the 2011 season and he is back in camp, happy and as boisterous as ever.

“It feels good to not be looked at as broken goods — to actually have something to bring to the table,” Rush said. “I kind of feel like a caregiver who had been out of a job for a while and now I finally get to bring food home to the kiddos.”

Though it could have been easy to feel sorry for himself last year, having to watch from the sidelines as OSU had it’s best season in program history, Rush said he didn’t take that approach toward the record-setting year.

“I had to tell myself, ‘Which would you rather do, sit on the sideline and watch my team lose without me or would you rather see them do the best they’ve every done?’” said Rush, who turned 23 the day after OSU beat Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl. “So I was proud seeing them do what they did. I wish they would have gone to the national championship game.”

While Rush didn’t return to the practice field until the Cowboys opened their fall camp last week, offensive line coach Joe Wickline said the sixth-year senior could have participated in spring practices.

“He looks good, I’m glad he’s back,” Wickline said. “He looked the same. The fact that he hasn’t played a bunch, there wasn’t a lot of cobwebs. I think the probably could have played in spring.”

A few practices into the fall camp, Rush said he hasn’t felt any lingering effects of the injury.

“It feels great. It’s all just running and gunning,” Rush said after Tuesday’s practice. “I feel like a little kid again, playing Pop Warner football.”

For the fellow offensive lineman, they are happy to have Rush back on the line — especially his big personality.

“Rush is a character. He’s a funny guy and likes to keep things light,” junior offensive lineman Parker Graham said. “I think that’s something you need, especially during two-a-days when you’re out there in 100 degree heat. It’s just nice to have somebody who can lighten the mood up and make everybody laugh every once in a while.”

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