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Jamire Calvin finally set to return from fractured foot

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Nearly two calendar years removed from his last game, the stud wide receiver is primed for a big role. Plus, your daily links!

Washington State v Arizona Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

For roughly 18 months, one of the persistent questions around the Washington State Cougars program has been: Where is Jamire Calvin?

Now, thanks to a great story from Theo Lawson at The Spokesman-Review, we know the answer to the wide receiver’s long and mysterious absence — a foot that was fractured twice in the same spot.

It started with a misstep in Midnight Maneuvers after the 2018 season:

Doctors diagnosed Calvin with a break between the base and fifth metatarsal of his foot, also known as a Jones fracture. Surgeons drilled a metal screw into his foot and suggested Calvin recover for six to eight weeks — or the entirety of WSU’s spring training period.

Then, it happened again — this time, just running some routes against air with Gage Gubrud. A second surgery was in order.

When Calvin’s foot was repaired the first time, surgeons used an intramedullary screw fixation procedure to hold the bone in place. It held, but not long enough, causing the second fracture. So in September, when Calvin should have been making more big plays in the Air Raid offense, he was instead back at the same hospital, for the same procedure, with the same surgeons he’d encountered six months earlier. Using a larger screw, surgeons anticipated Calvin would avoid a third fracture.

After a long and arduous rehab — made even more so by COVID — Calvin is back on the field and has claimed one of the starting wide receiver spots.

It’s definitely a little strange that it took this long for the answer to surface, even given Mike Leach’s long-standing we-don’t-talk-about-injuries-everyone-is-happy-and-healthy policy — usually, the reasons for long-term absences eventually come out. But Lawson’s piece tells the story of a determined individual and respected teammate who values his privacy, so it makes a lot more sense that if he didn’t want to talk about it, nobody else was going to take that away from him.

And he’ll make his long awaited return on Saturday against the Oregon State Beavers.

David Shaw is tougher than you and me

Incredible story at ESPN today about the Stanford Cardinal coach. None of us forget the Cougs’ comeback victory over the Cardinal in 2018, with Gardner Minshew finding Calvin for a long completion over the middle before Blake Mazza hit a game-winning field goal with under 30 seconds remaining.

What we only learned today is that Shaw had undergone a bone marrow transplant procedure at a hospital that morning in what was the first step to hopefully get his brother — who was battling cancer and had endured a pair of unsuccessful bone marrow treatments, leaving him with almost no other options — some potentially life-saving stem cells:

Stanford gathered in its team hotel early on Oct. 27 to begin final preparations before hosting Washington State later that day. David checked in for a 9 a.m. meeting and when it finished, he checked out of the hotel without saying a word. He walked toward the back exit, careful to make sure no one saw him, and snuck out the door to a waiting car.

Shaw sat in the passenger seat, headed toward campus and Stanford Hospital, praying all the while that what he was about to do would work.

He arrived at the hospital and was hooked up to an IV for the first dose of medication. This would not be the more traditional bone marrow transplant, where cells are extracted with a needle through the hips. Rather, the medication flowing through the IV would stimulate his body to overproduce the stem cells needed for the transplant, flooding his blood with them. The cells would then be extracted from his blood, and transplanted into Eric.

Doctors told him to expect to start feeling joint pain and tiredness within 24 hours. Those symptoms would grow only stronger over the coming days, when he came in for more medication. They told him he should stay off his feet, rest and remain hydrated. ...

David started to feel pain in his knees and legs during the game, a heartbreaking 41-38 loss to the Cougars. That pain only intensified in the coming days as he continued to go in for daily treatments, driving himself on a golf cart from the football facility to the hospital without anyone knowing. It felt as if he had a 50-pound backpack strapped on at all times. He normally jogs from place to place during practice but found it difficult to walk because his legs, hips and shoulders hurt so badly.

It’s a long read, but worth it — and I’ll skip to the good part: His brother is alive and cancer free. Good luck with your tear ducts when you make time to read it today.

Also, watch this knowing what you know now:

Links

Fractured but not fallen: Jamire Calvin's return to the field at Washington State was a tumultuous two-year battle | The Spokesman-Review
Jamire Calvin owes the last 20 months of his life to three things: patience, blind faith and a big metal screw. He’s not sure where he’d be otherwise – another promising athlete derailed by a freak accident, a few painful hurdles short of realizing his childhood dream to play professional football. Calvin hasn’t spent much time letting his mind wander there, though. It does no good for someone so intently focused on the future to linger on a murky past.

Cougars full of question marks, but new coach Nick Rolovich says that could work in their favor | The Seattle Times
New WSU coach Nick Rolovich believes this shortened and strange season is a positive for an unknown team such as his.

How will Coug DBs mesh? | Sports | lmtribune.com
One of them committed to USC — twice. Another got kicked off the Cougar roster by the previous coach, then was reinstated by his replacement. Another committed to Wyoming.

Washington State’s Max Borgh leads way as Pac-12 running backs pick up steam - SFChronicle.com
After thriving under head coach Mike Leach and the Air Raid, Washington State running back Max Borghi has been presented with a new challenge in Nick Rolovich’s run-and-shoot offense.

BeaversEdge - Oregon State Football: Wednesday Notebook
With Washington State having gone through a coaching change this offseason, naturally, the Beavers would have to get creative to get the full picture of what the new coaching staff is bringing to the table.

Washington State has Oregon State working overtime poring over video from many teams in looking to prepare - oregonlive.com
The Cougars have a new coaching staff with different approaches, and a true freshman quarterback

Litwin’s Locks: Pac-12 Week 1 and NFL Week 9 - The Daily Wildcat
It will be no easy task for Washington State Cougars head coach Nick Rolovich to replace the legend that is Mike Leach. Throw in starting true freshman quarterback Jayden de Laura, and it could be a long year in Pullman. The Beavers will have talented defender Hamilcar Rashed Jr. leading a good Beavers’ defense. On offense, running back Jermar Jefferson will get a ton of carries this year. I like the home team. Pick: Beavers -1.5

Pac-12 football preview: Ranking the most impactful newcomers of 2020 – Marin Independent Journal
8. Washington State quarterback Jayden de Laura.

Kickin’ it with Kim – The Daily Evergreen
Washington State University has seen plenty of legends score goals in a Cougar uniform for the women’s soccer team, but no one as great as Kim Peterson, then Kim Lynass. Peterson is by far the most decorated player in women’s soccer history, as she broke countless school, division and NCAA records throughout her career. In...