The Norman Transcript

Sports

August 15, 2009

Granger’s growing pains

If there’s a prototype for a run-stuffing defensive tackle, odds are it would like a lot like Oklahoma’s DeMarcus Granger. The 6-foot-2, 330-pound senior is about as close a human can get to being an immovable object.

That size, however, can have consequences.

Granger has been a standout player throughout his first three seasons at OU. He’s been a consistent force since 2006 and was even an all-Big 12 pick back in 2007.

One has to wonder what he could have done those years if there hadn’t been a nagging pain in his back.

It started as a pain that would come and go. Then late last season it never left.

“It got to the point where I couldn’t take it no more,” Granger said.

But Granger has proven he can handle the pain. The bad back never forced him to miss a game until late last year. He also made a quick recovery from a foot injury early last year. He could have missed the whole season, but instead only missed two games.

“He’s not one to be out a long time,” defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said.

But when OU’s team physicians told him last December he needed to have surgery or risk never being able to play again, he knew it was serious.

He’d already experienced a comeback season that year. He had to earn back some respect from his teammates after being sent home from the Fiesta Bowl the previous year after stealing a jacket from an Arizona mall. His lightning quick comeback from the foot injury was big in the locker room.

What he faced this past offseason was much tougher.

At some point football players have to think about their life beyond the game. The sport tankes an incredible physical toll. All have to ask themselves how long they want to stay on the road.

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