January 24, 2007

Commentary: Bouncing back

Torri Williams is one tough kid, let me tell you.

No, it has nothing to do with his well-proportioned 6-foot-2, 200-plus-pound physique, his upbringing in Texas' cut-throat high school football scene or the gridiron ability we've seen far too little of lately. Rather, it's about the Boilermaker defensive back's perseverance.

Having been to hell and back, then to hell again and only now on the road back, Williams knows more than his share about adversity.

It wasn't all that long ago that he was viewed as a sure-fire defensive standout for Purdue, perhaps the Boilermakers' next great safety and a soon-to-be NFL player.

Then, he broke his leg. Then, he mysteriously tore a muscle in his foot. Because of it, he missed his sophomore season.

Coming back from redshirt, Williams was back on schedule last August.

Then, in the cruelest of twists of fate, he sustained another devastating compound leg injury on the most routine of plays in the most inconsequential of games - a season-opening blowout of Division I-AA Indiana State.

At the time, it looked like it might squash any and all hopes of Williams having the sort of career he envisioned for himself, if not end said career altogether.

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