FORT COLLINS — As stretching comes to an end for Colorado State’s football team, the tradition is to bring a player into the middle of the pack to lead Ram Jacks.
As strength and conditioning coach Ryan Davis ushered Deonte Clyburn to lead the task, the senior was greeted with loud cries of “he’s back.”
Yes he is, and the senior linebacker couldn’t be more grateful.
“It was everything I imagined it was going to be like,” the Louisville, Ky., native said. “A lot of times sitting in your room, a lot of times going to practice last fall, last spring, it was always what if — what if I come back, what if I don’t? Today just really solidified the moment. It was really surreal. I got to run around a lot. I feel good, I feel lighter, I feel faster.
“Just the recognition my teammates gave me and how they have my back right now … It’s a feeling unexplainable.”
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After sitting since the end of the 2015 season with a blood-clot condition, the Rams get back one of their emotional leaders, not just defensively, but throughout the locker room.
That meant the moment he stepped into the middle wasn’t all his.
“It means a lot. He’s been a leader on and off the field. Last year he led and was not able to play, and now to have him back means a whole lot to the entire team,” safety Jake Schlager said. “It’s an awesome thing to see when football is taken away from somebody, it can be taken away from anybody. It’s real life. To see him come back and him be able to play football again is just an awesome feeling, not just for him, but for the entire team.”
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