User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Irish LB Spond thriving after being hospitalized

New Sportsbook.com customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

   

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - When Notre Dame linebacker Danny Spond was lying in a hospital bed with a debilitating headache in August, he wasn't worried about whether he'd play football again. He wanted to know whether he'd ever walk again.

Advertisement
``I didn't know whether that was going to be a possibility,'' Spond said. ``That was the scariest moment for me.''

The pain struck the junior from Littleton, Colo., about an hour into a summer football practice. He started getting a headache, but didn't think much about it. Then it started getting worse. His vision blurred, his face started tingling and became numb.

``It hit so hard and it was so intense. It was a complete numbness,'' Spond said. ``It was a terrifying feeling.''

An ambulance took him to the hospital and there was some fear originally he might have suffered a stroke. That was quickly ruled out, but it took doctors a while to figure out what was wrong while he was in bed, the left side of his body numb.

He was finally diagnosed with having a semi-hemiplegic migraine, which involves pain so bad that part of the body just shuts down. He remembers having a long talk with his father, Don, about whether he would play football again. He spent four days in the hospital and then had to undergo rehabilitation to learn to walk again. His left leg was limp, so he had to focus on picking up his leg, landing on his heel and pushing off with his toes.

``If I tried to speed it up, it went limp again. So it was just a slow process of training those muscles again to do what they normally do,'' Spond said.

When doctors told him they didn't believe the migraine was football-related, he decided to try to return. He sat out the first two games as he worked to regain his strength, but returned against Michigan State. He has been a solid contributor on a defense for the third-ranked Fighting Irish (10-0) that ranks eighth in the nation in total defense and first in scoring defense heading into Saturday's game against Wake Forest (5-5).

Spond has 33 tackles, an interception against Brigham Young and three pass breakups. As an outside linebacker, Spond might be setting the edge on one play, covering a wide receiver on another or taking on a 300-pound lineman on another. Against Boston College last week, he ran stride for stride with receiver Alex Amidon before diving to break up a pass.

``If they were giving out helmet stickers, he's have a lot of helmet stickers,'' coach Brian Kelly said. ``He's a guy that gets a lot of production points.''

Spond played quarterback at Columbine High School and was recruited to play quarterback at Colorado, where he originally committed to play, but chose Notre Dame instead even though he wasn't sure what position he would be playing for the Irish. Spond believes being a former quarterback helps him be a better defender.

``I've seen what he sees during a game. That's definitely helped me,'' he said.

Spond said doctors still don't know what triggered the migraine and don't know whether it will ever occur again. He said the first few times he began getting headaches after that he was concerned, but doesn't worry about it anymore. He said his Catholic faith helped him get through the most terrifying moments of dealing with the migraine and gives him confidence he will be all right.

``I'm just at a point where I'm fully relying on God to take care of me out there,'' he said.

With all he's been through, Spond is grateful to be playing for a team that could finish the season undefeated. He said he's not spending time worrying about whether the Irish will make it to the BCS title game.

``All we can do is win every game we have the opportunity to play. Numbers and computers, I don't mess around with all that. All we have control over is who we play and how we can play against them each Saturday,'' he said.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Edwards: College Playoff Props
Dabo: QB Stoudt Clemson's starter
Kentucky QB Whitlow plans to transfer
Allen leads resurgent Arkansas attack
Sark: Kessler is still USC's starting QB
Panthers finish spring with dodgeball
Gordon eager for Wisconsin fall camp
Malone stars in Orange & White Game
Cross shines in Nebraska's spring game
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2013 CFB SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Williams + 1921
Joe Nelson + 1446
Bruce Marshall + 1350
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Chip Chirimbes + 200
The SportsBoss + 200
Michael Black + 100
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Joe Nelson 60 %
Doc's Sports 57 %
Joe Williams 57 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Williams + 1312
Brian Edwards + 580
James Manos + 443
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Williams + 1283
Jimmy Boyd + 966
James Manos + 756
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 1100
Doc's Sports + 1090
Joe Nelson + 940
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and recieve access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!