Sunday, January 21, 2018
Sports

Football: Admiral Farragut's Givens waiting for chance to return from knee injury

Cortavious Givens is being patient.

Right now, it's all he can do.

While his friends travel the combine circuit and compete in prestigious 7-on-7 tournaments and collect verbal scholarship offers from interested colleges, Givens is waiting for his turn.

"I'm hoping by summer, I'll be good to go," says the Admiral Farragut running back, who suffered a season-ending injury in 2011 that he is still rehabilitating.

In a crucial district contest, Givens was in on special teams to try to block a Canterbury field goal when one of the Crusaders landed helmet first into his knee.

The result: a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus, requiring surgery that some have told him could end his days as a running back.

"I've heard a few people tell me that," Givens said. "They think I won't be able to do what I've been doing. But I know I can."

Before his injury, Givens was considered one of Tampa Bay's best and most promising runners. A blend of power and speed who also projects as a middle or outside linebacker, he had 200 yards rushing and receiving and three touchdowns before his injury.

If the pain of the injury wasn't enough, Givens missed Admiral Farragut's best season ever, a matchup with the state's all-time leading rusher Kelvin Taylor in the playoffs and a state championship game appearance.

"I was only getting the ball like three times game, but taking it to the house twice," he said. "It was going to be a good year. Everyone knew it was our year to go to state."

Givens says he has stayed in good shape. He says he has been jogging, and would put his knee at 70 percent recovered. He stands 5 feet 11 inches and weighs roughly 206 pounds, just a little over his playing weight. He said his upper body remains strong, and once he gets his knee brace May 24th, the comeback will begin in earnest.

On his side: Time.

Givens is only going into his junior year, the most important season for high schoolers hoping to attract a scholarship offer.

A host of colleges have expressed interest in Givens, with USF showing the most. But Givens said most, like Florida (who he didn't hear from until after his injury), Central Florida and Missouri, were waiting to see how his comeback goes.

This summer, he plans on attending camps in Gainesville, Miami and Tampa with the hopes of proving his knee is fine.

"I can't wait," he said. "Nobody wants to take a chance now, but (surgeon) Koko Eaton told me he believes I will play running back again if that's what I want to play. He said a lot of it is a mind thing.

"I'll be out there this spring cheering my boys on, and when I get my brace I'll be able to start cutting and show what I can do."

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