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On the comeback trail
OSU's Woods is fully recovered from scary injury suffered a year ago

By Scott Wright Published: July 11, 2008
I didn't have too many worries.”

That confidence is still flowing within Woods as he tries to work his way into the Cowboys' starting lineup in a young wide receiver corps.

"I see myself up there as one of the go-to guys,” he said. "My goal is to win games, so whatever it takes.

"I'm just looking forward to the season,” he said. "I'm not worried about anything else. I'm just ready for the season.”

This summer, Woods is taking part in seven-on-seven drills with his teammates. And he says concerns that he isn't as fast as he was before are unnecessary.

"I've pretty much got my speed back,” said Woods, who has regained the 25 pounds — mostly muscle mass — he lost after the accident. "Earlier this year, I could tell that I couldn't run past people like before. Now, I can pretty much run past people.”

OSU strength and conditioning coach Rob Glass agrees.

"In his training, most of his numbers are back to where they were before the injury. Some are even better,” Glass said. "Last summer, he was a high 4.4 guy (in the 40-yard dash). After spring practice, he was in the low 4.6 range. If we timed him again now, I think he's gotten that shored up.”

Glass says his only concern is Woods' muscles fatiguing quicker than normal. The fracture in his back was fused together and has fully healed, posing no increased potential for re-injury.

While others might be curious to see how Woods handles his first taste of post-injury contact, Woods says he doesn't want any additional attention.

"I don't want to be treated different,” he said. "I'm just like everybody else.”

And he looks the part, too.

"Anyone watching him now wouldn't even think he had a serious back injury,” Hunt said. "It's really remarkable to see.”

Oklahoma State's Artrell Woods is back in the weight room a year after suffering a cracked vertebra while lifting. By David McDaniel, the oklahoman


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