There’s usually some uncertainty when a football player returns from an ACL knee injury. But Keller Fossil Ridge standouts Stefan Cobbs and Francis Nnandozie are defying the odds.
Both are back in the fold full time with the Panthers, as Ridge is out to 6-0 start this season after last week’s win over Abilene.
Fossil Ridge continues district play Thursday against Haltom.
“I’m confident, I mean, I got through it,” Cobbs said. “I had bunch of great people around me for training and rehab and it feels good.
“I don’t think about it at all.”
With 35 catches for 764 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, Cobbs said he’s thinking about ways to improve not only for his team, but for skills he’ll need at the next level.
The senior holds scholarship offers from Tulane, North Texas and Boise State.
He was a national 100-meter standout before he got hurt and now all of the sudden no one in the Big 12 wants him, come on!
Fossil Ridge head coach Tony Bacarini on receiver Stefan Cobbs
“I just want to get better at making big plays,” he said. “I just want to expand my range on the downfield routes and move my feet better.
“I just love to compete, I love battling against the corners and we play against some good ones. I love having conversations with them, sometimes it’s talking smack and sometimes we’re just talking, but for the most part it’s fun.”
Nnandozie’s on the same recovery chart.
The linebacker has been a menace to opposing offenses, recording 46 total tackles and two caused fumbles.
He too, tore his ACL and missed the 2016 season and holds just one offer, an academic and football opportunity at Cornell.
“I feel better after the injury,” he said. “I’m moving around better than I have and don’t feel any pain in the knee.”
That’s a good sign for Fossil Ridge as the playoffs loom.
Coach Tony Bacarini said both are complete players in their respective roles, but said he was disappointed more large schools aren’t making offers to Cobbs.
“They are standout football players and leaders,” he said. “There’s nothing they need to do to get better at the next level because they’re already there, especially for Stefan.
“I don’t know what the college coaches are thinking with Stefan. He was a national 100-meter standout before he got hurt and now all of the sudden no one in the Big 12 wants him, come on!”