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Corwin Cutler may not be available this season, but he vowed to reach his potential.
The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot
Ocean Lakes High School quarterback Corwin Cutler completed 70 percent of his passes and threw 31 touchdown passes this past season before sustaining a knee injury in the state playoffs.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
VIRGINIA BEACH — It was a moment most players would prefer to forget, but Ocean Lakes quarterback Corwin Cutler said he watches it nearly every day.
He knows where to find it, which Google search terms to type in and what, exactly, is coming next.
Cutler picks up a fumble during a first-round playoff game against Granby, tries to escape and gets dragged down by two players, one high, one low. His knee collapses. He’s carried off the field, rubbing tears from his eyes.
“I’m watching it right now,” Cutler said, briefly pausing a cellphone conversation. “Corwin Cutler, scroll to the bottom, Friday Night Flights, Week 10. I watch it before bed, in the morning, before I lift weights. I still have the pants and jersey, unwashed. They still have the same mud stains.”
Cutler tore all three major ligaments in his knee and suffered a partial tear of his meniscus. A 6-foot-4, 185-pound, three-star recruit according to Rivals, he is three months into a lengthy rehabilitation as he prepares to sign with the University of Virginia during today’s National Signing Day.
Cutler went from largely unheralded and occasionally replaced quarterback as a junior to a star — and a player of the year candidate, despite the injury — as a senior.
He finished the season completing 70 percent of his passes (133 of 191) for 2,232 yards, throwing 31 touchdowns against just four interceptions.
Cutler said he started footwork drills the day after his junior season ended, a work ethic he’s now putting into rehab.
While he still does most of his walking on crutches and hasn’t been given a timetable for full recovery, he said his doctors seem pleased with his progress. He has gained flexibility in his knee and is focused on strengthening his quadriceps, which will help limit the chance of a recurrence. He believes he’ll begin jogging soon.
While players across the country have switched allegiances or had offers pulled as signing day approaches, Cutler said that he never stopped to worry about how the injury would affect his offer and that Virginia never wavered on its commitment.
Immediately after the injury, he said, his thoughts turned to his late half brother, Jaylin, for whom he promised to win a state title. Jaylin committed suicide before the season, and Cutler brooded more over a promise unfulfilled than his knee.
Virginia head coach Mike London called a day or two after the injury to tell Cutler the school intended to honor his scholarship offer regardless of the injury.
“Once you’re a Wahoo, you’re always a Wahoo,” Cutler remembers London telling him.
Virginia coaches can’t comment on recruits until today because of NCAA rules.
Most freshmen, particularly quarterbacks, spend a redshirt year getting acclimated to college, watching more experienced players and bulking up. For Cutler, the injury makes that a near certainty. But he insists it won’t keep him from meeting his potential.
“I believe I got hurt for a reason,” he said. “God wanted me to focus on school and mature. He wanted me to hit restart. I believe God has a plan for me.”
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