Injury nagging Shorecrest grad, Huskies tackle

  • JOHN SLEEPER / Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, September 27, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports


Herald Writer

SEATTLE – Rock Nelson hesitated slightly when asked how his back felt.

“Pretty good, man,” said the Washington Huskies’ 290-pound junior tackle. “Hey, I’m playing.”

For a time, the prospects of Nelson playing at all weren’t good. A herniated disk kept him out of the majority of fall camp, and he didn’t play at all in the Huskies’ first two games, against Idaho and Miami.

In fact, UW coach Rick Neuheisel questioned whether Nelson would play again.

So it was a surprise to many observers to watch Nelson in on about 30 snaps against Colorado. And now, it appears that Nelson, a Shorecrest High School grad, will play extensively Saturday against Oregon.

The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for Nelson. After the Huskies beat Colorado, he was able to take a few practices off to rest and heal. The soreness wasn’t limited to his back. His body was screaming from the pounding he hadn’t felt since the early days of fall camp.

“It was fortunate that we had a week off to let him rest,” Neuheisel said. “He was just plain football sore. But he’s played himself into good shape and he’ll be available for considerable action on Saturday.”

It’s a remarkable comeback for Nelson. The only time his back would hurt was when he moved. Or when he breathed. Or when he slept. Or when he sat. Or when he stood.

“There was a point when I wasn’t sure when I’d come back,” he said. “I don’t know. It’s kind of a mysterious thing. Sometimes it feels good, sometimes it feels terrible. Lately, it’s been better. It hasn’t been great, but better. It’s almost back.”

  • Hooks update: Wideout Wilbur Hooks is all but out of Saturday’s game with an irregular heartbeat. Although doctors have found nothing abnormal in the structure and dynamics of his heart, Hooks is seeing specialists this week to determine the nature of the irregularity.

    Hooks has not practiced this week. But if specialists give him the green light, Hooks may play.

    “It’s really out of our control as coaches,” Neuheisel said. “It’s really up to the doctors, their feeling comfortable about him being able to participate. The last thing in the world you want to have happen is have anything go wrong with somebody’s heart.”

    Other than Hooks, the Huskies appear to be at near-full strength. Linebacker Ben Mahdavi (ankle), reserve safety Owen Biddle (ankle) and nose tackle Ossim Hatem (elbow) may be available against Oregon.

  • Noise, noise, noise: The Huskies are piping in crowd noise in a field-level speaker system to simulate the decibel level at Autzen Stadium Saturday. Also, the UW band has been blaring during the last stages of football practice.

    Talk to us

  • More in Sports

    Everett Community College has hired longtime assistant coach Daniel Thompson (middle) as its new head men's basketball coach. (EvCC Athletics photo)
    EvCC names Thompson new men’s basketball head coach

    Thompson, 35, has been an assistant with the Trojans for 9 seasons and takes over for Mike Trautman, who stepped down in April.

    Spring 2023 All-Wesco teams

    Note: All-Wesco teams are chosen by the league’s coaches. For any misspellings… Continue reading

    Hammer throw.
    Local trio shines in high school hammer throw finals

    Adrianna Coleman and Kimberly Beard place 1-2 in the women’s portion, and Calvin Gutierrez takes 2nd in the men’s championship.

    Washington celebrates a home run by Rylee Holtorf (3) at home plate during the second inning of an NCAA softball Women's College World Series game against Utah Friday, June 2, 2023, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Nate Billings)
    UW opens Women’s College World Series with key win over Utah

    After being rained out on Thursday, Washington beats Utah 4-1 to advance into the winner’s bracket.

    Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for May 22-28

    The Athlete of the Week nominees for May 22-28 Voting closes at… Continue reading

    Hops rally in 9th inning to sink AquaSox

    Reid VanScoter turns in an impressive outing, but Everett’s bullpen falters late in a 4-3 defeat.

    Rangers shortstop Corey Seager (left) reaches down to tag out the Mariners’ Teoscar Hernande, who was trying to stretch a single into a double during the third inning of a game Friday in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
    Mariners’ bats silent in shutout by Rangers

    Seattle’s offense musters just three hits in the 2-0 defeat.

    AquaSox can’t make huge rally hold, lose to Hops

    Everett takes the lead with six runs in the eighth, but allows two runs back in the ninth and falls 13-12 to Hillsboro.

    The Everett Elite Flag Football 14-under team practices Sunday morning at Harbour Pointe Middle School in Mukilteo, Washington on January 16, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
    Community roundup: 3 Jackson grads to D-I baseball tournament

    Plus, Jayden White is headed back to the NCAA track and field nationals, the Silvertips sign their first-round picks and more.

    Washington's Sami Reynolds runs the bases against McNeese during an NCAA softball game on Saturday, May 20, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
    Local softball stars Reynolds, Mahler set for WCWS

    Washington’s Sami Reynolds (Snohomish) and Stanford’s River Mahler (Monroe) each play prominent roles on their Pac-12 teams.

    The Mariners’ Cal Raleigh smiles as a teammate throws bubblegum at him during an interview after Raleigh hit a single to drive in the winning run against the Yankees during the 10th inning of a game Wednesday in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
    Raleigh’s RBI single in 10th gives M’s 1-0 win over Yankees

    George Kirby pitches one of the best games of his young career with eight shutout innings in Seattle’s 1-0 win.

    AquaSox top Hops on wild pitch in 11th inning

    Everett edges Hillsboro 3-2 in a game with strong pitching on both sides.