|BC’s Colin Larmond Jr. hopes to return to the form that led to this touchdown in 2009. (Barry Chin/Globe Staff)|
BC’s Larmond set to pick up where he left off
It was just another practice in preparation for what Colin Larmond Jr. believed would be his breakout season at Boston College.
The 6-foot-3-inch junior wide receiver had shown flashes of the potential that first drew the attention of the BC coaching staff a few years earlier. But what happened during a routine drill during training camp last summer was not what Larmond and the Eagles had foreseen.
“It was the during the first 15 minutes of practice,’’ recalled Larmond. “I was just doing some routes and my [left] knee just blew. At first I thought I had just hyperextended it. It hurt for a while and then the pain went away.’’
But it was more than a hyperextension. Larmond had torn the anterior cruciate ligament and was done for the season.
For Larmond, whose two-year totals at BC include 34 receptions for 692 yards and six touchdowns, it was a major pothole in his quest to become a go-to guy, as he was at Morristown-Beard High School in New Jersey. Larmond scored 16 touchdowns during his senior season.
“I was ready,’’ said Larmond. “Then I hurt my knee. It was the first time I had ever been hurt. I never missed a game in high school.’’
His first reaction was to feel sorry for himself. “After it happened, I did feel that way,’’ said Larmond, slated as one of two starting receivers this season along with Ifeanyi Momah. “But I didn’t want to hang my head and have a pity party. After it happened, I gave myself a few days and told myself, ‘Yeah, it stinks. But time moves on.’ ’’
So did Larmond, gradually and steadily, with a new perspective. “What happened helped me grow mentally,’’ said Larmond, who feels that he is 100 percent recovered after missing spring drills this year. “I learned that sometimes we have to overcome obstacles that we can’t control. I learned how to adapt to what happens.’’
Larmond followed the standard procedures for recovering from knee surgery. “I knew from the start that it was going to take 6-8 months. I didn’t get frustrated and push myself too much, but I just kept at it. Sometimes it didn’t seem there was any progress being made.’’
What Larmond did through the spring and the early part of the summer was get himself ready for what he will face in training camp, which starts tomorrow, and through the season.
He worked out in 7-on-7 drills with the quarterbacks, including starter Chase Rettig. He worked on his timing. He steadily built up strength in his leg.
“He has the speed and he is very much a vertical receiver,’’ said coach Frank Spaziani, remembering a spectacular 55-yard touchdown reception Larmond caught in the Eagles’ Music City Bowl appearance against Vanderbilt in 2008 and the 66-yard reception he had against Maryland in 2009. “He has the ability to make things happen.
“Everything he has done would suggest that he is ready. But until he goes up for a ball in practice and then comes down on that leg, you don’t really know. Certainly, we’re looking forward to him coming back.’’
Said Larmond, “I can’t wait for practice. It’s been a long time, almost 365 days.’’
Larmond is ready to fill any role. “Whatever they want me to do, whatever it is, I’m ready to do,’’ said Larmond, knowing that the Eagles will begin camp down two wide receivers - Shakim Phillips, who transferred, and Clyde Lee, who left school because of academic reasons.
What the Eagles want Larmond to do more than anything is remain healthy and resume a career that was on pause for a year.
Mark Blaudschun can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.