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Nothing's slowing Auburn's Josh Holsey now
Oct. 23, 2014

Auburn's Josh Holsey, knee brace and all, makes the play

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala.  Josh Holsey is passing an anniversary he'd like to forget.

It's been a year since he blew out his knee and began a rehab process he wasn't sure where it would lead. But where it has led to a successful return to the football field as Auburn's fourth-leading tackler heading into Saturday's 6:30 p.m. game against South Carolina.

"I think the date of my surgery is actually coming up soon, but I don't really think about it too much anymore," Holsey says. "I know I have the big 'Iron Man' knee brace on. I just try to go out there and play full every single play I can."

It is now Holsey, knee brace and all, who can talk to defensive end Carl Lawson about bouncing back from a knee injury. He can talk about comebacks with receiver Stanton Truitt, who had shoulder surgery. He can talk about the initial doubts as well.

"It's been a lot of roller-coasters," Holsey said. "When it happened, I was really, really down knowing I couldn't play anymore. Furthermore, after my rehab, I didn't know how I was going to bounce back. And then when I got back, I didn't know how I was going to actually do. I just knew that I had to train hard."

Holsey, a safety last year, hurt his knee two days before Auburn played Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M. In short order, Auburn revamped the secondary and survived A&M 45-41. 

Now, follow along here: Holsey has been a cornerback and then a safety and then a cornerback and now a safety again.

He's just happy to be playing.

"They always say, 'It's a minor setback for a major comeback,' and I really felt that was true for me, to come back and do what I'm doing now and play like I'm playing now even though I just had an ACL tear last year. It's good now. I'm not really thinking about it too much. I still don't think about it at all now. I don't really wear my braces much when I'm running around in the weight room, so I try to take advantage of that. 

On the field, he's Iron Man.

Carl Lawson played like one last year, without a brace. His comeback is ongoing, with the clock running out on a return this season. But Holsey says Lawson's attitude has been one of drive.

"He's got a good head on him, and that's the main thing when you have an injury," Holsey said. "That's the biggest way to make sure your comeback is good. I just tell him all the time you've just got to take your rehab one day at a time… you're going to get tired of it, because I got tired of coming in at 6:30 in the morning for three months straight. I used to wake up and be like, 'I don't want to go today,' but you've got to make sure you keep continuing to grind. That really helps and Carl has that mindset as well. He wants to get back. I know he misses it. I just make sure I tell to stay focused and keep on your rehab. Don't let your rehab slip, because once your rehab slips, your knee is not going to get back to where it needs to be for you to come back fully."

Stanton, too.

"I used to talk to Stanton when he first got here and I told him, 'Just take your time. You're going to have a lot of ups and downs,'" Holsey said. "When he got hurt, I told him the same thing: 'You just rehab. The (medical staff) is going to rehab you as hard and as physical as possible. You're going to have to come back stronger and ready to prepare.' I just tell him he's got to keep his head on him. He has a good head on him as well, just like Carl, so I feel like he's going to be able to come back from that injury."

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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