TAMPA — USF linebacker Brouce Mompremier, sidelined since suffering a serious neck injury Sept. 20 against Florida International, said Monday that he could not feel his arms or legs for a few minutes on the field after a violent collision.
"It was the scariest thing I could ever imagine," Mompremier said. "It was terrifying. I tried to get up and I couldn't feel anything. Being like that for probably like five minutes, everything raced through my mind. I'm thinking. 'How would I live my life like this?' The only thing I could move was my head and my neck."
Mompremier, a senior from Miami, regained feeling and movement in his arms and legs before being moved to Jackson Memorial Hospital. He said feeling pain and a pins-and-needles sensation in his arms and legs was a welcome change from the uncertainty of feeling nothing.
"When it started to come back, I started feeling the pain, but at that time, I was glad for the pain," Mompremier, 22, said.
Steve Walz, USF's assistant athletic director for sports medicine, said Mompremier suffered a neuropraxia, or short-term paralysis caused by a concussion or shock to the spinal cord that does not come with any long-term symptoms. "It comes and goes away quickly," Walz said.
Mompremier has shown encouraging progress, and though he won't play Thursday against Pittsburgh, he hopes to practice next week, with an eye on playing at home Oct. 18 against Syracuse.
"(A team doctor) told me I'm no more at risk than any other guy on the field," he said. "That was a pretty good thing for me to hear because it gives me confidence to go back out there. The whole thing I'm thinking about is how am I going to tackle? Am I going to change my approach? Is my head going to be way behind my body? I probably forgot how to tackle. I have to get back to the basics, so hopefully the game hasn't gotten far away from me."