Just in case you were wondering, UCLA defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes appears just fine, thank you very much.
Need proof that he’s good to go after tearing his ACL and meniscus in the season opener last season? Check out his 418-pound hang clean from a couple of days ago.
— Sal Alosi (@Coach_Alosi) July 25, 2016
I’m no doctor, but I would think some sort of knee stability is required for a lift of that poundage.
If you’re looking for some of the backstory on Vanderdoes and his injury from last season, our Ted Miller caught up with him earlier this month.
“I was in shock. I had no clue. They told me I had totally torn my ACL and meniscus," he said. "I honestly wanted to get a second opinion because I thought there was no way it could be true. I felt completely fine. I felt like I could have played the rest of the season.”
Of course, he didn’t play the rest of the year and the Bruins limped -- literally -- to an 8-5 finish with season-ending injuries to Myles Jack and Fabian Moreau as well.
However, UCLA was picked to win the Pac-12 South in 2016, partially on the strength of key returners like Vanderdoes and Moreau, who are both 100 percent. Worth noting that even with those injuries, the Bruins ranked fifth in the conference in scoring defense and had the top pass defense in the league.
“They are all clear right now,” head coach Jim Mora said of Vanderdoes and Moreau. “I think the important thing is, especially with two guys that have played a lot of football, especially Eddie and Fabian, that we do a really nice job of managing them through the fall camp and making sure that they’re getting the work that they need so that they’re sharp and there’ prepared to go to Texas A&M and play well. But that we don’t wear them out. We don’t sacrifice their health, and we’ll do a good job of that.”