Boston Stiverson showed a full range of motion while he was in Wichita earlier this week for a youth football camp and a Catbacker banquet.
In fact, Stiverson, a senior Kansas State lineman, moved so nimbly that many of the fans he encountered forgot he suffered a gruesome injury to his right leg at the conclusion of the Alamo Bowl in January.
His goal for the upcoming season is to make opposing teams think the same way.
“I just want to prove and show that it doesn’t even look like I got injured,” Stiverson said. “I want to come back at 110 percent and do everything I did last year, just even better. I got injured, but I am ready to put that behind me.”
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For some, that would not be an easy task. The injury Stiverson suffered in the final moments of K-State’s bowl game was not your average setback. It was severe.
He had to be carted off the field.
“I basically shattered my tibia and fibula,” Stiverson said. “I had surgery the next morning. The doctors went in there and put a rod through my tibia and four screws in the fibula. I couldn’t put weight on my right leg for three months.”
The rehabilitation process was slow and difficult. At least it came at a good time. Though no football player wants to get hurt, suffering an injury at the end of a season allows the body to heal in time for the next year.
Stiverson, who has started 17 straight games at left guard, is ready to return to K-State’s offensive line after sitting out the entirety of spring practices.
“I was non-weight bearing for about three months. Then from there it started moving really fast,” Stiverson said. “I started moving laterally after about four months. I’m about five months out right now and I am full go.
“It has been a process. I started summer workouts last week, doing everything. It was a long process, but my teammates and my friends really supported me and helped me through that transition. Injuries are just part of the game. It (stinks) that it happened, but I am glad to be back on the field.”
Stiverson figures to be a major contributor on K-State’s offense next season. The Wildcats lose starting quarterback Jake Waters and a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in Tyler Lockett and Curry Sexton, but they return four starters up front.
Blocking may be the unit’s strength.
“It is really exciting to think about,” Stiverson said. “I think we had a good offseason, and I am really excited to get going. We still have a lot of work to do before fall camp gets started, but I am ready to get back with these guys. They are a great group.
“Knowing we have four of those guys back, and a lot of experience coming back, it will be nice to be the leaders of the offense and help everything move smoothly.”
A healthy Stiverson will be ready to deliver.
For now, he is simply driven to return to the field.
“I am really looking forward to just that first game,” Stiverson said. “Running out of the new Vanier Complex and seeing all the purple in the stadium is going to be really exciting.”