LEMOND: Bo Smith is happy to be playing again


Posted Jul 15, 2005


Last year at this time, UK football player Bo Smith wasn't thinking about football. He was just thinking about living.

Last year at this time, UK football player Bo Smith wasn't thinking about football. He was just thinking about living.

It was one year ago this week that Smith was hit in the head with a baseball bat during a fight. He suffered a fractured skull and a broken orbital bone. His life was in danger. Playing football again was out of the question, but he's proved everybody wrong.

"The doctors said I might not be able to play again," Smith said. "But the doctors finally said I could play, and it's made me feel good to get back on the field again."

After missing all of last season while recovering from the head injury, Smith returned to the Cats during spring practice. He sat out last season as a redshirt, so he still has two years of eligibility remaining at Kentucky.

UK head coach Rich Brooks said, "Coming off the trauma that he suffered last summer, for him to come back and get the activity he's had during the off-season and last spring is really good."

There was a time when even Smith didn't know if he would ever play football again. His life and his career were in jeopardy.

He said, "A lot of times when I was thinking, back home in bed, thinking if I would ever play again because I had headaches all the time, and my head was hurting."

But there was #24 out on the field last spring, covering receivers, and playing cornerback for the Cats like he did before the injury.

"The first time I took the field, I was a little nervous cause I had a head injury," he said. "But I came out and made a big hit the first day of spring practice, and I felt perfect. After that, I felt good, and I wasn't nervous any more about my head."

Brooks added, "He's (Smith) is past the part of being nervous about the first hit, or the second hit, or the third hit."

Smith has already proved a lot of people wrong. People who thought he would never play the game he loved so much ever again. But he says he's still got one more hurdle to climb. One more thing to do to make this incredible comeback story complete.

"The first time I get on the field against Louisville, I can't wait to come back and play," he said. "I've got to show people that I'm the same Bo. Nothing has happened to me. I'm not different."


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