Matt Bockhorst feels good, is ready to hit somebody


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Bockhorst will be on campus in late June
Bockhorst will be on campus in late June

Matt Bockhorst is feeling good, he’s almost fully recovered from his knee injury, and now he’s ready for the one thing that makes him happy. He’s ready to hit somebody.

The 2017 offensive line commit out of Cincinnati (OH) St. Xavier suffered a torn ACL last July, and missed all of last season after surgery to repair the tear. Bockhorst told TigerNet Sunday that he’s finally finished with nine months of therapy and rehab.

“First off, I’m feeling great. I’m out of physical therapy, so now I’ve moved into the preparation phase and I’m really getting after it as far as speed, agility and conditioning,” Bockhorst said. “That’s definitely a great feeling to be back at it with guys who haven’t been injured and in that competitive environment. That’s something I love. As far as rehab, I was in physical therapy for roughly nine months. There were good days and bad days. It’s as much mental as anything.

“It’s such a psychological battle a lot of times just from a standpoint of having to go to physical therapy and then having to go workout after physical therapy for my upper body. It’s definitely something that I wouldn’t wish on anybody and it’s something that I think to truly understand you have to go through it yourself. Looking back, I can honestly say that it’s helped me grow as a player and as a leader and in everyday life. You can’t take anything for granted, especially football. It’s definitely changed me and helped me build some character, but it’s not easy by any means.”

Missing all of last season means it’s been awhile since he’s taken a competitive snap.

“The last actual snap in a game I took was in November of 2015. I went to The Opening last summer and that’s a competition,” Bockhorst said. “That’s one of the greatest things about football is that it’s so competitive and you get to compete as a unit on the offensive line. For me personally, I’ve always loved working out. I’ve always loved training. I love the environment of a weight room with a group of guys really getting after it, so that’s kind of been my relief over the last year or so. That’s where I’ve pushed myself and I’ve seen awesome results and I’m going to continue to do so. It’s one of my passions. Once you get to this level of football, everyone is a competitor and everyone is trying to one-up the other guy and it’s not necessarily a bad thing when teammates are competitive with one another and pushing each other to be better.”

While weight room work and training are great, it lacks the one thing that burns inside any decent offensive lineman.

“It’s kind of funny and not necessarily a joke, but I really want to hit somebody. It sounds funny and sounds awful, but that’s such a huge part of my game is my ability to get after someone and go toe to toe with anybody,” he said. “Obviously, it’s going to be an adjustment when you’re going against high school juniors and seniors and Dexter Lawrence. There’s a little bit of uncertainty coming in but I just can’t wait to compete - put your hand in the dirt and go against the guy across for you. As a lineman, there’s nothing better you can ask for.”

Bockhorst will be on campus in late June, and he hopes to be cleared for all football activities by the time fall camp starts.

“I’m out of physical therapy and I’m doing more intense training with no restrictions,” he said. “After a month of this training - which I will continue until I leave - is when I’ll reconvene with my surgeon to make sure everything is good and all of the boxes are checked and I’ll be fully cleared.

“I’m just excited to get on campus. Being committed since January of 2016, it’s awesome to be a recruit and the recruiting process is so awesome and you get treated like kings and you get paraded around. All of that is awesome, but now I’m getting to the point that I want to contribute. I don’t want to be Matt Bockhorst the Clemson commit or the Clemson signee, I want to be Matt Bockhorst the Clemson football player. At the end of the day, you go through the recruiting process and sign on the dotted line so you get the chance to do that. As we get closer and closer, I just want to be there.”

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