Arizona sophomore quarterback Nick Foles will meet with reporters Tuesday morning in his only non-ESPN media gathering of the week.
Nick Foles/TucsonCitizen.com photo
The guess is that ESPN this week will be working up a feature on Foles for Saturday’s GameDay program from Tucson, and that a good part of the questioning Tuesday morning will be about his late-game brain cramp against Cal, when his illegal double-pass play took Arizona out of range for a potential game-winning field goal.
If he handles the mental anguish as well as physical pain, he should be just fine for the Oregon game this week.
One of the best background stories on Foles is from his senior season at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas. He played most of the season with a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, but he kept on playing because he wanted to be there for his team. He led Westlake to the 5A Division I state championship game.
“I hurt it in the fourth game,” Foles said in a recent interview.
“I remember the hit that hurt it. I will always remember it. It’s on our highlight reel, so I get to relive it if I ever want to watch the highlight reel because somehow we scored a touchdown on it.
“It was one of those things where I told myself I was fine, and I didn’t tell anyone about it. I didn’t tell my dad. I wanted to finish my senior year. The shoulder kept popping out of the socket and doing all kinds of weird stuff. I was like, ‘It’s fine, it’s probably just a little bruise.’”
It wasn’t until after the season that tests revealed the torn labrum, which was repaired by the famed Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.
How did that come about? With a little help from Drew Brees, also a Westlake alum.
“We know his mom and dad,” Foles said of Brees, “and we asked where he had his surgery, and they said, ‘Dr. Andrews.’ He actually called Dr. Andrews for me, and (Brees) have me a phone call and left a message on my phone.
“I have always looked up to him and what kind of guy he is. He’s an amazing guy, an amazing football player, so that was kind of cool.”
Related video at wildaboutazcats.com: Oregon coach Chip Kelly talks about Foles and Arizona