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Munchie Legaux Comes All The Way Back

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53 weeks after an injury that could have ended his career, Munchie Legaux is back to playing.

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

A picture is worth a thousand words, but that image might just double the exchange rate. When I saw that image flash across my screen I instinctively recoiled, because I know what came after that. The unnatural bend of Munchie Legaux's leg from the force of the hit. The unforgettable sight of Munchie on his back, holding his leg, his chest heaving from the force of the screams emanating from his lungs. Screams that are unheard on the TV broadcast, because there were no mics close enough to pick them up, which is for the best. Illinois' Houston Bates frantically waving at the UC sideline for them to get someone, anyone, out there to help Munchie. Tim Beckman being the first man to reach him, saying something, who knows what to Munchie before giving way to the medical folks. The entire team coming onto the field to take a knee surrounding him. All of those indelible images will never leave me, and I kind of like it that way now, because what comes after is amazing.

At the time I wrote that Munchie's career was almost certainly over, and I have never been happier to be completely wrong. Not for the first time I underestimated the resolve of Munchie. The one thing that Munchie has always had as a Bearcat is belief. He believed that he could play football again, and he endured a schedule of rehab and training that would reduced lesser men to puddles of incoherent sobbing. This isn't Munchie's team anymore, it's Gunner Kiel's, but this team is better for having him on it. Munchie is going to play again, he will probably play tonight. When he takes the field, in whatever role Eddie Gran gives him, no one should be sitting down. We owe Munchie that at the least after the year he has endured.