You can hardly blame Duke defensive end Kenny Anunike if he never wants to see the inside of another rehab facility again.
Anunike has spent way too much time in rehab, thanks to three knee injuries that have taken a huge chunk out of his career. The good news is that he has been granted a sixth year of eligibility because of all the lost playing time. He feels completely healthy, and ready to dominate. The bad news, of course, is that he has had to undergo such extensive rehabs, forcing him to watch from the sideline.
The latest was for a torn ACL he suffered in the fourth game of last season against Tulane. At the time, Anunike was on pace for a huge season. After three weeks, he ranked first in the ACC in tackles for loss (five) and quarterback sacks (four).
"I’m champing at the bit. I can’t wait. Just spectating a game is terrible. I don’t know how you guys do it," Anunike said, referring to reporters. "I just want to play."
Anunikewill have his opportunity to make an impact once again, and the Blue Devils are going to need him to reinvigorate their pass rush. Even though Anunike missed eight games, he still led the team in sacks. Nobody else on the team had more than two.
"I’m trying to help my younger ends, teach them my ways, how I get to the quarterback, just watching film, know your opponent," he said. "You don’t go into a test without studying."
After being limited during the spring, he says he started to feel 100 percent right at the start of the summer -- just nine months after he got hurt.
"Really, we have just a great training staff, Kerry Mullenix worked so hard to get me back to 100 percent in a matter of months and that’s a lot on my end, waking early, coming in there, doing one-legged squats, just to strengthen this ACL as much as I can so this won’t happen again," he said. "So I feel really good, I feel like I’m firing on all cylinders, and I’ll be ready come camp, and the season from there."