SEATTLE — Artrell Woods has reached the happily-ever-after of his fairytale story.

After injuring his back in a weightlifting accident last summer, doctors said there was a chance the Oklahoma State sophomore would never walk again. In a miraculous story, Woods not only walked, but ran, jumped and played football Saturday against Washington State.

Woods said his recovery is full and he is physically free to do whatever he wants. He added that he’s glad to be beyond talking about the injury.

“I’ve been talking about it for the past 13 months, and it’s over with,” he added. “I’m back on the field. It’s a good feeling.”

Woods competed in about 20 plays Saturday and said it was good to be back in the game.

“It was a great experience,” he said. “I’m real grateful to be back on the field. I give glory to God just to even be in this position.”

Coach Mike Gundy said Woods is a remarkable story. He added that Woods did a good job Saturday even though he never got the ball thrown to him.

“It was good to see him out there, running around, playing on special teams,” Gundy said. “It’s a great, great tribute to the physicians that got him back to playing today, and the rehabilitation team we have at Oklahoma State did a great job.”

Co-offensive coordinator Trooper Taylor said the recovery process was rough for him as Woods’ wide receivers coach.

“I try to treat those guys like their last names are Taylor, and it’s no different than if my son had gone through it,” he said. “Early on, I was almost babying him, and he came to me and said, ‘Coach, you can’t. You can’t baby me. You gotta turn me loose.”

“And as a parent, you worry about that because I saw the pictures of what happened to him and how they fixed his back, what they did to it.”

Taylor added that he eventually did turn Woods loose and he’s become an inspiration to the team.

“My heart started beating a thousand miles an hour when he got back in there, but a really love the kid, and there’s no question — no ifs, ands or buts about that.”

Taylor said Woods was beyond excited to play in Saturday’s game.

“It was like, ‘Whoa, son, relax and let it come to you,’ but he did a great job,” Taylor said. “I was hoping that he’d get a ball or an opportunity to make a play, but it depends on what the defense does — we’re not gonna force-feed anybody.

“But the kid was excited to play, he came out well and he kept coming and saying, ‘I’m ready, I’m ready.’”

Taylor said Woods is quick to whip other players into shape. If they aren’t paying attention or something, Woods reminds them that the game could be taken away from them at any time.

“And when the players start sounding like the coaches, you’re getting closer to where you want to be as far as winning championships and playing in bowl games.”

Many people wondered and asked Woods whether he would have hesitations or fears about getting back in the game after such a severe injury.

“No,” he said without hesitation. “Nothing to be nervous about. That’s what I live for.”

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