We already know of the leading candidate for Comeback Player of the Year for Purdue, if not the Big Ten. It is today’s player. All he has to do is make it to the field.
Will Colmery –Jr.
Western Springs, IL (Nazereth Academy)
6’5”, 290 pounds
2017 Projection: Recovering from a freaking brain tumor!
Colmery has been on campus for three years and has yet to play a snap, but he has a good excuse for not playing in 2016. On June 28, 2016 a benign tumor about the size of a tennis ball burst behind his left eye:
Nine months ago, a neurosurgeon made an incision that stretched nearly ear to ear across the edge of Colmery’s scalp, just above the hairline. It took four hours to remove the pieces of a tumor that had ruptured inside his skull a day earlier. Intact, the large mass of misplaced cells growing behind his left eye was roughly the size of a tennis ball. When it finally became too big and burst on the morning of June 28, it sent Colmery’s body into a seizure on the floor of Purdue’s indoor practice facility.
The diagnosis ended a mystery for the football program’s medical staff. About a half-dozen times in the previous year, Colmery said he had blacked out. For roughly 30 seconds, his friends and family told him, he would speak nonsense before returning to his senses completely unaware that anything strange had occurred. Initially, it happened once during a summer conditioning workout and then many months later during a practice last spring.
So… yeah. That’s terrifying.
It is not settled yet if he can return to playing football. As a defensive tackle, going into a season with metal plates in your head after a brain tumor rupture is a dicey proposition, but he has stated a goal of wanting to return to the field. It seems very likely he’ll get a medical redshirt for 2016, meaning he would have three years left to make it into a game.
Here’s hoping he can play at least once.