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More on Oklahoma State FB Kye Staley being granted a sixth year of eligibility

Gina Mizell Published: November 6, 2012

Kye Staley’s battle back from a severe knee injury that should have ended his career has evolved from a feel-good and inspirational story to a straight-up success story. He’s not only back on the field; he’s thriving in a critical role in the Cowboys’ offense.

And last night we broke that the Oklahoma State fullback and fan favorite has been granted a sixth year of eligibility.

I talked to Staley about the news Monday afternoon. Here are some leftover quotes that did not make it into the story.

Kye Staley

On the play he sustained the injury in 2009:

“I was just trying to make a play and just got rolled up. (Former OSU defensive tackle) Chris Donaldson came in and just hit me in my knee, and everything just tore. I layed there and it was hot and I was swearing and cursing. It was miserable. When I was hurt was probably one of the worst days of my life.”

On the long recovery process:

“The main thing I didn’t have was confidence. Even though it wasn’t true, I felt like none of the coaches really had confidence that I could come back in play. I felt like they had basically just written me off.”

“Coach (Rob) Glass, he still believed in me. He worked me out 100 times harder.”

“Didn’t like John (Stemm) for a little bit. Now that I look back on it, I’m really glad he pushed me the way he did.”

“I knew that I could do it. Because if I could make it through that knee injury and (come) back, I knew I could play football again.”

On the move to fullback:

“I’ve always been a team player. I put the team first before I put myself. I wasn’t recruited to be a fullback, but I embrace the role. Coach (Jemal) Singleton asked me to be that person, and I embraced that role and just took a whole different attitude toward that position.”

On getting back on the field for last season’s opener:

“I wouldn’t say I was nervous, but I was just overexcited, just happy to be out there. Just full of energy.”

On his desire to become a high school coach:

“Back in Guthrie, there were a lot of kids that had the athletic ability, but they didn’t have the grades. Not because coaches didn’t care, but mostly because they didn’t monitor it more closely. If I go back to a school, the kids with the great athletic ability, (I’ll) make sure they get the grades and go to a D-I college.”

Coach Mike Gundy

On Staley coming back from the injury:

“It’s truly an amazing story when you go into the actual fundamentals of his knee. He had no chance to play. We went through a 6- or a 9-month period where hopefully he can walk without a limp. And then they said, ‘Well, one of those nerves is firing back. That’s awesome, but the other one’s never going to fire.’”

On how Staley continues to play with pain:

“I’ll see him at practice, there’s times he’ll walk off and he’ll kind of just stand over there, because it’s hurting him. He doesn’t say anything, but I know he’s over there and he’s missing reps, but he’s doing it because he can’t do it. Then he’ll get back in.”

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