Harrisburg left tackle Layne Brannon completes rehabilitation on his knees, preparing for return to football
Layne Brannon’s knee exploded almost five months ago.
There’s a snippet of it circulating somewhere on Twitter and it’s not pretty.
Harrisburg’s big left tackle pulls back to stop a Williamsport passer in a preseason game and, in an instant, he rolls across the grass at Severance Field, squeezing his lower leg, in agony.
It was as tasteless as it was ugly.
The defenseman slipped, crashed into Brannon’s knee, and just like that, the almost 6-foot-7, 260-pound junior season was over.
But on Tuesday, Brannon told PennLive he was finished rehab and, pending clearance on March 26, plans to return to football.
“It was a struggle,” Brannon said of the way home. “When I got to rehab, two or three days after the operation, they put me to work.
“It was painful and frustrating.”
Brannon said he had surgery to repair a torn PCL, MCL and ACL in his left knee on August 27.
He said he had been in rehab three to four times a week since the injury.
“Right now I can do light squats and I do leg presses to make it stronger,” he said. “I’m ready to go back to normal football stuff.”
And that’s great news for Harrisburg because, before Brannon’s injury, he teamed up with Nate Bruce, who signed on at Penn State, to form a massive and formidable left-back on the Cougars line.
And, said Harrisburg coach Calvin Everett, Brannon’s return adds a potential high-profile college perspective to the mix of what appears to be a large and exceptional attacking front.
“Before his injury, the guys at Power 5 found out about him,” Everett said. “He’s been to camps in Ohio State and Penn State and done it, and in recent weeks many schools have asked about his status. He’s still got a ways to go, but as long as he’s minding his own business, I think he’s going to be fine.
Perhaps the biggest hurdle for Brannon, aside from continuing to strengthen his knee, is adding weight. He said he dropped to around 245 pounds while in rehab.
“I’m just ready to work hard,” Brannon said. “I’m going to do whatever I can, eat the right things, work harder than everyone else and try to do what I can to make a mark here in Harrisburg. It’s going to be 110% to try to be the best player I can be.
It’s music to Everett’s ears.
“We’re really excited to get it back,” Everett said. “He was an important part of our team when we made this state championship. Not having him all last season was a big blow. It was musical chairs with a lot of guys in different positions, and we never got to sit on a guy in his place.
– Follow Brian Linder on Twitter, @SportsByBLinder
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