By Conner Rumsey
USU Football News
Andrew Rodriguez lay motionless.
The wide receiver wasn’t so much as flinching a muscle on the football field. And all of Romney Stadium fell silent.
The noise of the hit — a crack that could be heard from the stands — brought practice to a halt.
Thursday was the first day of full pads and full contact for the Utah State football team. As the practice at Romney Stadium was just about to wrap up, the hit Rodriguez took made everything pause.
“Everything just kinda froze for a minute,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve never taken a hit that made me feel like that before.”
Rodriguez was running a route over the middle of the field during the two-minute drill, and was the target of a pass right before he collided with the safety Marwin Evans.
He wasn’t the only one who was scared after the hit happened.
“We aren’t trying to hurt the players during only spring ball,” said Luke Wells, the co-offensive coordinator at USU. “But all these kids are working for playing time so they’re going to go as hard as they can. Andrew just happened to take a big hit as a result.”
Rodriguez’s teammates were also concerned for the receiver. They weren’t sure he would be able to get back up.
“You see big hits pretty often,” said Dallin Leavitt, a defensive back for USU. “It’s just different seeing it happen to your teammate, someone you actually know and care about. It made everyone nervous.”
Rodriguez said his shoulder received the most damage. His arm has been in a sling and he has been icing the shoulder constantly to get the swelling down. He said the doctors can’t run any tests until the swelling goes down significantly.
According to Rodriguez, he has not participated in practices since he took the hit and will likely miss more time.