Injured Washington QB Still Has NFL Hopes

Nov. 15, 2006

SEATTLE(AP) -- Isaiah Stanback's right foot is still set in aboot, he moves around on crutches and takes pleasure in begin ableto move his toes again.

This wasn't how the Washington senior anticipated spending hisfinal Apple Cup week.

'It's a slow process and it really makes you appreciateeverything you take for granted in life,' Stanback said this week.

Stanback suffered a season-ending injury to his right footduring the fourth quarter of Washington's loss to Oregon State onOct. 14. He had surgery the following week, and will need abouteight months of rehabilitation.

By moving his toes in recent days, Stanback said the swelling inhis foot has dramatically decreased.

'I'm hoping to beat all those times, hoping to get back,'Stanback said.

Before his injury, Stanback's performance had coaches throughoutthe Pac-10 Conference lauding his leadership and believing he couldbe the Pac-10 offensive player of the year. Entering that afternoongame against the Beavers, the Huskies were 4-2, had nearly won atUSC the previous week and seemed destined for a bowl game.

Stanback had thrown for 1,325 yards and 10 touchdowns and runfor another 350 yards and four scores before his foot gave way onthe Husky Stadium turf.

Washington hasn't won since. It goes into Saturday's Apple Cupwithout any bowl chances, hoping to finish 5-7.

At first, Stanback hoped it was simply a badly sprained ankle.But as he crumpled to the turf, Stanback saw the end of his collegecareer flash before him.

'That's where most of the pain came from, your career flashingin front of your face,' he said.

Stanback's professional aspirations haven't dimmed, although hisprofessional career most likely will be as a receiver. He won't beable to participate at the NFL combine or Washington's day forplayers to work out before professional scouts during the winter,but has been able to lift weights and hopes to have recovered bylate May or early June.

'I'm going with the flow, just trying to make progress everyday,' Stanback said.

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