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Conference Call: Andrew Szczerba

Senior tight end Andrew Szcerba is back for one more round after a long layoff due to to back surgery. See what he had to say in his Tuesday teleconference.

- I know right after my surgery I had a lot of thoughts that I wouldn't play again went through my mind. I prayed a lot about it and I had my family there - I knew I'd be back on the field.

- I'm the type of guy that wants to get back in the weight room and on the field, so taking it slow it was frustrating. It was a a great feeling to get back to working out and knowing that my body would hold up.

- I've been anxious and nervous to get back into it. I've been waiting for this day for a long time. I have to tell myself to go out and have fun and enjoy it. I have to make the most of it this year.

- I haven't taken any serious blows this fall. Since day one I've been full contact and doing all the one-on-ones. I've taken some hits, given some hits and I feel confident that my body will hold up this season.

- Last winter my back got progressively worse, and right before spring ball I let the trainers know about it. I sat out workouts for two weeks and felt good. When I came back I didn't know I had a slight bulging disk. That caused some trouble and it got worse and worse, I had pain down my leg and I shut it down that spring.

- The injury had a huge impact on my daily life. That was a main factor in getting that fixed. You're a regular person first, and when you're having trouble sleeping or it hurts sitting in class, that's when you know something is really wrong.

- In the very beginning of the summer I started feeling 'normal' again. I wasn't doing contact stuff and I was a little hesitant there. I started to have some confidence then because I was doing some of the workouts that my teammates were doing. Doing the workouts really gave me confidence to know that I was doing better.

- As everybody knows we have two talented quarterbacks and we've all been getting reps with both of them. They're fighting for that spot. I'm not sure who the guy will be. I know coach Paterno will eventually let the nation know about that.

- For three months I couldn't lift more than five pounds. That was a slot process. When I got back into the training room I got on the bike and back to therapy. I did a lot of core routines, a lot of lower back exercises, some flexibility stuff and it really helped me out.

- I had a bulging disc that was pinching my sciatic nerve, they took the cartilage out of the disc that was putting the pressure on the nerve. When they took that out I felt like a million bucks. I was optimistic because even though back surgery is never a slam dunk, I woke up and felt great. I was very smart in how I went about my daily activities and I didn't mess it up.

- I think we have the ability to have more production from the tight end position this year. We have the talent to do so and we'd like to see the balls come our way.

- Justin Brown is a tough kid, you knew when he came in that he was going to be a great player. He's not a senior, but he's got some game experience. He knows that he needs to make an impact this season. I think he's going to do really well and make the state of Delaware proud this year.

- To be honest, besides talking to you guys about my surgery I got through every day forgetting I had it done. I've been feeling great and I'm grateful for this opportunity.

- A sixth-year is something that I would be open to exploring. It's something that I would have to talk about with my family and then decide. Now I'm focused on Indiana State.

- I think the biggest thing that has changed with me is just that I'm going out there and having fun. Nobody likes to go out and practice every day, but if you can go out there and have a smile on your face and have a good time, it's a fun game.

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