Everything seemed to be on track this year for a real and legitimate debut for wide receiver Kam Babb, up until the point where it was not.
On Wednesday, Babb was seen at Ohio State’s football practice with a brace on his left knee, a reminder to a multi-year run that has seen multiple ACL injuries, to each knee, and the worry of, ‘Here we go again’ and the very real and unpleasant thought that Babb, the recent recipient of Ohio State’s Block O jersey may not see the field.
When Babb spoke to the media on Wednesday night, he told the media that this hurdle was only a small one and one that should not derail the 2022 season before it ever gets underway.
“Just a little nick, nothing crazy,” Babb said. “Just kind of nicked it up a little bit a few days ago. Just taking precautions and just kind of trying to take it slow, day-by-day, make sure I’m full go when I’m able to get out there.”
Many players would have given up after two knee injuries, or three, but five?
It is that determination that has made Babb a locker room leader and a two-time captain for the Buckeyes.
It is a two-way street, Kam inspires his teammates but the team inspires Kam as well to keep fighting ahead.
“I’m very confident. I’m going to be confident until whatever day that is where I say I’m done,” Babb said. “I’m going to be confident until that day comes. So, I’m going to go until I can’t go (any) more. And with the help of all these guys, and again, I have got to lean on my God and Jesus, but I’m going to go until I can’t anymore.”
That doesn’t mean that there is not a certain level of frustration for the 5th-year receiver out of St. Louis, a former four-star and headliner of his recruiting class.
“I would be lying to you if I said it wasn’t frustrating,” Babb said. “I know it’s a part of the process. It’s the game of football. It is 100-percent you’re guaranteed to get injured.”
The Buckeyes have dealt with injuries already this preseason, losing Evan Pryor for the year with an apparent knee injury, missing out on reps with several cornerbacks during fall practice and so much more.
There is no timetable for a return of Kam Babb, is a little nick something that will slow him down for a couple of days, a couple of weeks or more? Nobody is quite sure, or they certainly are not sharing that information at this point.
Babb is no stranger to the rehab room and will do everything in his power to get back at it and hopefully see his first action and haul in his first career reception with the Buckeyes, whichever week that may end up being.
“Just when you go through so many injuries, you always have that question of what it is. But just with the people around me… they’ve made it every time so much (easier),” Babb said. “It’s been hard, but so much easier, just with the support and love that they’ve given me.”
It gives the team mantra of “For the Brotherhood” that much more context.