There have been good stories lately about the return to football of Cory Elmore, the twin of ex-Arizona Wildcat defensive end Ricky Elmore. The Arizona Republic’s Doug Haller talked to Cory for a story over the weekend (part of which you can read below).
Cory never played at Arizona because of a heart condition, but he’s cleared to play and itching to get back on the field, if he can navigate the NCAA’s eligibility rules.
Before deciding to pursue further college eligibility — based on having lost multiple years to the medical condition — he worked out for NFL scouts at Arizona’s pro day in March, when he showed off his long-snapping ability, a skill he has worked on since he was a kid.
“I’m just happy he came back out here and he’s competing again,” Ricky said on pro day.
“He was competing in body building for a while, but he wants to get back on the field and get around other people and get into a team sport. He has a chance. He is physically gifted.
“He has recharged his batteries and he’s ready to go out there and give it another shot.”
In an April story in the Arizona Daily Wildcat, Cory Elmore said he would like to play defensive end at Arizona.
“At pro day I realized I want to go back to U of A,” he said. “If they don’t want me there, that’s going to suck because I bleed red and blue. I’m a Wildcat for the rest of my life. I love Arizona. I realistically think I can put a lot on the table for that school.”
But a story last month in the Green Bay Press-Gazette (one of TucsonCitizen.com’s Gannett partners) said that Arizona coach Mike Stoops wasn’t interested — although perhaps that is a factor of the health/eligibility concerns.
Here is the beginning to Haller’s story with the Republic:
Cory Elmore wants to play football again. And he wants to do so at Arizona State.
Some background: Cory is the twin brother of former Arizona star Ricky Elmore, who was just drafted by the Green Bay Packers. In 2006, the brothers began their careers together in Tucson.
But not much later, a routine checkup revealed Elmore had an atrial septal defect, a congenital condition in which the wall that separates the upper heart chambers does not completely close. On July 19, 2007, surgeons repaired a hole in Elmore’s heart.
Good news: Serious health problems were avoided. Bad news: Although he was eventually cleared to play, the condition led to the end of Elmore’s career at Arizona.
Today, Elmore feels great. Better than he did during his playing days. He stands 6-foot-5, weighs 280 pounds and says he was recently told by doctors that his heart is stronger than ever. Not long ago, Elmore started thinking about a return to football. He practiced as a defensive end at Moorpark College in California. According to reports, he participated in Arizona’s Pro Day in the spring and registered better numbers than twin brother Ricky.
Now Elmore’s ready for the next step, a return to major-college football.
“I’m 23 years old, (but) I’m not one of those people who cannot give up the game of football,” Elmore said in a telephone interview. “Football has been a huge part of my life, but it hasn’t been my whole life. … In a nutshell, I just feel like I have a lot left over that I can give to a team.”