Munchie Legaux has grown accustomed to “the look.”
When people realize who is and are reminded of the gruesome knee injury that he suffered nearly 11 months ago, Munchie can see their facial expressions change.
“Guys see me and look at my knee and go, ‘Oh my God,’” said Legaux. “I’m OK.man. I don’t have a prosthetic leg or anything.”
Far from it.
After enduring months of mind-numbing rehab sessions following surgery to repair all four ligaments in his left knee, Legaux estimates that he is 80 to 85 percent recovered.
“I expect to be out there for the first game of the season,” Munchie told me. “And I expect to be out there competing for the start of camp.
“Every day, twice a day, I’m in the training room and the weight room. Lifting, running, squatting – whatever it takes to get me ready for camp.”
“When you’ve had an injury like that, you have to fight through a lot of things,” said head coach Tommy Tuberville. “But he’s a battler.”
Legaux was one of four Cincinnati seniors who represented the program at American Athletic Conference Media Days in Newport, RI and his presence was noted by Commissioner Mike Aresco in his state-of-the-league address.
“I am especially pleased to see Munchie Legaux from Cincinnati and I’ll be happy to shake his hand after he takes the field this season,” said Aresco.
“It was an honor and a blessing for him to recognize me,” said Legaux.
While Gunner Kiel will enter training camp as the number one quarterback on the depth chart, Coach Tuberville says that Legaux and Jarred Evans will be given the opportunity to compete for the job.
“I have been in this situation for the last two years,” said Legaux. “Competition brings the best out. And if it’s Jarred Evans of Gunner Kiel out there for the first game, I will be their biggest supporter.
“There’s a target on my back with people thinking, ‘What is he going to be like? Is he going to be the same guy? Is he going to be Munchie Legaux running around and making plays?’ But that doesn’t define a quarterback. A quarterback is willing to sit in the pocket and throw the ball and I can do that and also run at the same time.”
Regardless of how much playing time he earns, Legaux’s comeback is already an inspiration to his coaches and teammates.
“When he first suffered that injury, nobody ever thought he would come back,” said Tuberville.
“Everybody watched Munchie go down, and everybody is going to watch him get back up,” said cornerback Adrian Witty.
“Nothing is impossible,” said Legaux. “Injuries…anything you have going on in your life…just continue to have faith, take it day-by-day, and stay positive. That’s the main thing – stay positive.”
After a nightmarish injury, Munchie Legaux has an increasingly realistic dream: To run back on to a football field in a Bearcats uniform.
“I can’t wait for that moment. I might cry,” Legaux told me. “A lot of guys are happy for me to be back and say, ‘We might cry with you.’ But I don’t know what to expect when I run out for the first game with guys noticing, ‘Man, look at him. He’s running. He’s back.’ I’m just excited and ready for that time.”
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