COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — A little more than two years ago, Henry Josey ripped his left knee to shreds making a cut. He tore the ACL, MCL and patellar tendon on a 2-yard gain against Texas at home, an injury so extensive Missouri coach Gary Pinkel thought it looked like his star tailback had been in an automobile accident.
It was serious enough that Texas coach Mack Brown crossed the field at a hushed Faurot Field to have a look.
In the SEC championship game on Saturday, No. 3 Auburn will see a player who's made it all the way back.
Coaches and teammates couldn't have been more pleased that the 5-foot-9, 190-pound junior got a chance to really stretch his legs on the go-ahead touchdown late in the victory over Texas A&M that wrapped up the SEC East.
"You saw Henry, when he got that one hole how fast he took off," center Evan Boehm said. "And that's something special to see. What better person to get that than Henry?"
Josey is a cinch for a second 1,000-yard season in two years starting for the fifth-ranked Tigers (11-1, 7-1), needing just 50 yards with two games remaining. He's busted four 50-yard-plus gains this season, serving notice with a 68-yard TD in the opener and scoring on an 86-yard run at Kentucky.
He has eight runs of 20 yards or longer and is averaging 6.2 yards per carry. Though it's down from a scintillating 8.1-yard average in 2011, Josey believes he's a better back now.
"I hope I'm better than I used to be," Josey said.
"I think so," he said.
There's no doubt he's an inspirational presence, what Pinkel refers to as "untouchable."
"You don't say a bad word about Henry Josey," Pinkel adds, "no matter what."
Josey was all-Big 12 as a sophomore with 1,168 yards despite missing the last three games with an injury that required multiple operations. He spent all of 2012 rehabbing.