January 6, 2009

Zagzebski recovering well after setback

In all likelihood, it wasn't just the D.C. Everest contingent that let out a collective gasp when Konrad Zagzebski laid on the field during the first quarter of a road contest against Marshfield on Oct. 3, 2008.

When word reached news outlets across the state, college recruiters in the Big Ten conference probably reacted in a similar fashion as they waited for a concrete diagnosis on the left knee of the 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker widely considered the top junior in Wisconsin.

"It was an impact injury and I tore my ACL," Zagzebski told BadgerBlitz.com Sunday afternoon. "Dr. Graf down in Madison repaired the injury and I've been in rehab for about three months now.

"At first I didn't know how serious it was until I got the MRI back. But it was definitely a major disappointment to get hurt, especially against a rival school."

Everest went on to win the contest, 21-7, and closed the season with a perfect 6-0 conference record, but with Zagzebski on the sidelines, the Evergreens fell in the second round of the WIAA Division I playoffs to Stevens Point, 35-17, a team they beat during the regular season.

"That was a tough feeling just sitting on the sidelines," said Zagzebski, who went down during Everest's sixth game of the year. "You'd give anything just to get out there and help your teammates, but there's just not a whole lot you can."

Though the last three months have been trying, Zagzebski is confident he can make a full recovery heading into his final prep season.

"Everything is going real well," said Zagzebski, who is still waiting for his first scholarship offer. "I'm back and running and it's getting a lot better. I feel I'll be full-go for track in the spring and that should carry over into the summer when I expect to be 100 percent."

Zagzebski, who participates in the triple jump and both the 100- and 200-yard dash, is also looking forward to Wisconsin's junior day, an event held last year Feb. 15-17.

During that particular weekend, the Badger coaching staff extended scholarship offers to and received commitments from in-state prospects Shelby Harris, Ryan Groy and Jordan Kohout, the first three verbals in UW's 2009 recruiting class.

"If I did get the scholarship I would take time with my parents and coaches to discuss what would happen next," said Zagzebski, who acknowledged he was not sure when the event would take place this year. "I would be very happy if they offered, but I would never close the door on any other schools before giving them a good look."

On the recruiting front, not much has changed since the injury, though Bob Bostad, the primary in-state recruiter, has kept in contact to gauge how Zagzebski has been recovering.

"I went down to the Penn State game and I've been in contact with Coach Bostad a little bit," he said. "Our communication has basically been through email since then. Since the injury, they've been checking in on me and things are going real well with them.

"It's just a lot of the Big Ten schools still (recruiting me) right now. Iowa's come on stronger as of late and Duke just asked for my transcripts, but other than that, it's still the Big Ten and not much else."

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