[tps_title]Rob Waldrop, nose tackle[/tps_title]
[tps_header]1992 Consensus All-American/1993 Unanimous All-American[/tps_header]
If Scooby Wright is in need of inspiration from bouncing back from an injury, he needs to look no further than Rob Waldrop.
Waldrop went down with a knee injury in the last game of the regular season at ASU on Nov.26, 1993. The knee required arthoscopic surgery. The Wildcats beat the Sun Devils and earned a spot in the 1994 Fiesta Bowl against Miami on Jan. 1, only 31 days after he had the surgery on Dec. 1.
The biggest question in Tucson was whether Waldrop could become healthy enough to play against the Hurricanes.
Much like Wright is going through now, Waldrop had to think about his future beyond that season.
“If it were just my last game and I didn’t have a future in football, I wouldn’t care, I’d just play,’ Waldrop, the Outland Trophy winner, was quoted as saying by the Tucson Citizen. “But there has to be decision-making about it now because it’s not going to be my last game.’
“I may not play, I don’t think now it’s a big possibility, but it might be. … I expect to play – I don’t know how much – and I’m going to keep thinking that way.”
In the few days leading up to when Arizona had to play Miami, coach Dick Tomey said Waldrop was at “full speed.”
Waldrop played and helped the Desert Swarm defense shut down the Hurricanes in the 29-0 victory. He set the tone as the nose tackle, limiting the Hurricanes to 35 yards rushing on 22 carries. Miami had only 182 yards in total offense.
In relative terms to Waldrop’s injury and recovery, 31 days from Wright’s surgery will fall on Oct. 6, three days after Arizona plays at Stanford. Using Waldrop’s case as a barometer, Wright might not return until the Wildcats host Oregon State on Oct. 10.
Waldrop and Wright have the same physicality, work ethic and determination. You have to believe Wright will come back strong in a month like Waldrop showed almost 22 years ago.