WASHINGTON (AP) -Sidelined with a fractured fibula and unable to do anything to speed the healing process, Andrew Crummey was helpless in his bid to complete his senior season at Maryland.
Surgery wasn't a viable option, and the standout offensive lineman couldn't rehabilitate the injury. Patience was required - no easy task for a person who rarely rests during practice or in the classroom.
``The toughest part was for about four weeks I couldn't do anything. I couldn't make myself better,'' Crummey said Tuesday. ``All I could do is let it heal. It's frustrating because when you play, you're used to doing what you need to do to get better. I couldn't really do that.''
Crummey broke his left leg against Georgia Tech on Oct. 6. He was initially told that he would have to undergo season-ending surgery, but a further examination determined that an operation was not necessary.
His goal was to return for the regular-season finale against North Carolina State. Crummey achieved his objective, much to the delight of his teammates.
``The highlight of the season for me was to see him come back and play as well as he did,'' wide receiver Isaiah Williams said.
``I tell you what, the week leading up to the N.C. State game, when I got to practice all week and I knew I was going to get into the game, there was so much emotion, so much excitement,'' Crummey said. ``Obviously we had a great game against N.C. State. It was a great way to finish the regular season, and now we've got a chance to play in a bowl game. I couldn't have asked for a better way to come back from an injury.''
After playing in the first half of Maryland's 37-0 victory over the Wolfpack, Crummey gets the opportunity to finish his college career in the Emerald Bowl on Dec. 28. Helping Maryland (6-6) beat Oregon State is his top priority, but the 6-foot-5, 300-pounder also wants to show the NFL scouts he's completely over the injury and ready to complete at a higher level.
``This is big for me because I have the lingering injury issue and I haven't played in many games. So for me to be able to play and show I'm 100 percent and can play again, it's going to be big,'' Crummey said. ``It's going to be great, capping off my senior season and career at Maryland playing with my guys one last time. It's going to be a great way to go out.''
Before the Terrapins head west, Crummey has other business to finish. He will graduate from Maryland this week with degrees in Government and Politics and Geography.
``Playing for five years means you're in school for five years, so I kind of accumulated credits. It's the culmination of a lot of hard work,'' he said. ``It's ending one chapter in my life and moving on the next.''
If all goes as planned, Crummey won't have to use either of those degrees for quite some time. He's already started looking ahead toward the NFL draft, and expects very little rest before April.
``For the next four months, all I'm going to hear is speculation,'' he said.
Crummey, who last week was selected third-team All-America by The Associated Press, probably doesn't have the patience to wait four months to find out his future. The odds are he will find something to keep himself busy, just as he did while waiting for his injured leg to heal.
``When he was hurt, he helped the redshirt freshmen, the true freshmen, everyone,'' Williams said. ``He helped the team in ways you couldn't imagine. Just him being there, it was a sense of comfort.''
Notes: In an effort to drum up interest in the Emerald Bowl outside of College Park, Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen signed autographs Tuesday at the ESPN Zone in downtown Washington. ... Friedgen said special teams coordinator Ray Rychleski will take the same job with South Carolina after the Emerald Bowl.

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