With expectations of competing for a state championship, the Fullerton College Hornets are grateful to have offensive lineman Taylor Beyer back to full health. The 6-foot-5-inch, 360 pound sophomore has had a lot of success on the field when healthy, including Second Team All-Conference honors as a freshman.
However, he has faced some difficulties getting back on the gridiron since.
After Beyer’s first season with the Hornets, he had questions to whether he really wanted to continue pursuing his football career. He wasn’t sure if his heart and mind were fully in it, and wanted to shift his focus towards the classroom. His coaches and teammates tried to convince Beyer otherwise as they saw what a key part he was of the team’s success.
However, Beyer’s mind was made up, and he decided to sit out and red-shirt the season, to retain his year of eligibility. It didn’t take Beyer very long before he realized how much he missed the game, and immediately knew he would be back the following season.
As the following season was approaching, his coaches and teammates were excited to have the overpowering offensive lineman back on the field. He was once again named the starting right guard on the offensive line, and big expectations were held for the big man.
In the third quarter of the first game of the season, Beyer set a season ending block. The play was a handoff to the outside, Beyer sealed his block, released the defender, and as he moved on to seal another block, he hyperextended his knee, fell to the ground, and wasn’t able to get back up.
Holding his knee, and screaming out loud from the excruciating pain, Beyer was carried off the field.
“I’ve torn ligaments and broken bones, but nothing would compare to the pain I felt at that moment,” Beyer said.
He went the the doctor to get an MRI taken on his knee that following Monday, and he had to wait a couple of days to get the results. Beyer couldn’t wait to find out the results, but they did not come in his favor. The MRI showed he suffered a torn ACL, and a torn meniscus in his right knee. Doctors said it would be about a ten-month healing process, which meant his season had come to an end, far to early.
Beyer was devastated by the MRI results, and was concerned about whether or not he would lose a year of eligibility. However, he was able to medically red-shirt the rest of the season, and keep his year of eligibility.
Still, many doubted his return after suffering such a serious injury, but that wasn’t even a concern for Beyer.
“I had no doubt if I was coming back,” Beyer said. “I had never even thought about not coming back.”
Beyer went through serious treatment for the next ten months to rehab his knee and regain the strength and agility he once had. Constant ice and heat, massaging out the scar tissue, and building the muscle around the torn part of his knee is what his rehab consisted of.
With a much healthier knee now, Beyer has once again regained his starting position, and has been a blocking machine thus far in the 2013 season. He still undergoes treatment before and after each practice, to keep the strength and balance that he worked so hard to regain.
Even after all of the rehab, Beyer is not completely healthy. He still suffers patella tendonitis in his right knee and says that it still feels pretty weak.
“When I got the surgery they took parts of my patella and two part of bone,” Beyer said. “They took that and replaced my damaged ACL with it.
The Hornets’ football team and staff are glad to have him back doing what he does best.
“He’s a really good offensive lineman,” said fellow offensive lineman Greg Martinez. “ He always working hard, and always taking care of his knee and getting treatment whenever he can.”
“I think we have the opportunity to be great, and hopefully go all the way,” Beyer added.
With a healed knee nearly back to 100 percent , Beyer has goals to help his team win a championship, and receive a football scholarship where he can continue his love of the game.