‘Tough guy’ Baxter has knee surgery, will miss Alamo Bowlby Anthony Gimino on Dec. 10, 2010, under Sports
Arizona Wildcats senior center Colin Baxter has started a school record 48 consecutive games … but no more.
Baxter had surgery Thursday to repair torn meniscus in his right knee and will not be available for the Alamo Bowl, coach Mike Stoops said after Friday’s practice.
Baxter suffered the injury Oct. 30 against UCLA and played through significant pain for the final four games of the regular season.
“This is something he has prolonged and agonized over the past few weeks,” Stoops said. “Just thought it was the best time to get it fixed.”
By having the surgery now, Baxter will be better prepared for offseason workouts for NFL scouts.
His replacement will be redshirt sophomore Kyle Quinn.
“Colin is one of the toughest guys I have ever met,” Quinn said after practice.
“When he told me about how bad his knee was, I couldn’t believe it. I was taken aback with how serious. He’s a tough guy. When Colin was playing through the pain, I was not surprised one bit. He’s just that type of guy.”
Baxter has earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors in each of the past two seasons. He was one of six finalists this season for the Rimington Trophy, given to the nation’s top center. TCU’s Jake Kirkpatrick won the award Thursday night.
“It’s been awesome learning from him,” Quinn said.
“He’s been the leader of this team from the start. Ever since I got here three years ago, I’ve been learning everything I can from him. He’s one of the best centers to ever play here.
“He’s going to be a great source for me to go to whenever I have questions about the offense.”
Baxter will still be around as the team prepares for Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio on Dec. 29.
Quinn joins a starting offensive line that features four other seniors — including sixth-year tackle Adam Grant. Next year, Quinn could very well be one of the cornerstones of a young, rebuilt line.
In the meantime, Quinn will continue to soak up knowledge from his elders.
“Adam has been here since the Stone Age, so he knows what he’s doing,” Quinn said.
“Conan (Amituanai) and Jovon (Hayes), they have plenty of starts, too. I’m still learning from them as much as the younger guys are learning from me.”