Torain Derailed for the Season

Torain Derailed for the Season

One of the prevailing notions concerning the Sun Devils was that they boasted a very deep group of running backs. In the last five games of the 2007 season, that statement will be put to the test. After Wednesday's practice, ASU Head Coach Dennis Erickson revealed that starting running back Ryan Torain will miss the remainder of season with a torn foot ligament suffered last Saturday.

"Ryan has a Lisfranc sprain, which is basically a torn ligament in the foot which stabilizes the big toe," Erickson told repoters concerning Torain's Tuesday MRI results. "He'll be out for the season. He's given so much to the program and to this team. Things like this happen. That's part of the game of football." He added the running back will undergo surgery on Friday.

"It's unfortunate for our team, but it's unfortunate for Ryan, more than anyone."

Ryan Torain, a senior who transferred last year from Butler (Kan.) Community College, was regarded as one of the best running backs in the Pac-10 during his Arizona State tenure. In 2006 he earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors as he ran for 1,229 yards, becoming ASU's first 1,000-yard runner since Delvon Flowers in 2001. He also scored seven rushing touchdowns during that year.

Coming into 2007, he ranked second in the Pac-10 Conference among returning backs in total rushing yards. He started six games this season collecting 553 net rushing yards and five touchdowns. He also tallied two receiving touchdowns.

Possessing the perfect combination of brawn and speed, Torain has been listed by ESPN's Mel Kiper as the No. 2 senior running back in the nation for 2007. He was sure first day pick in the upcoming 2008 NFL draft, and some believed that he could possibly be taken in the first round. With his injury, his participation in the February's NFL combine could be in doubt.

"His future is involved in this, and he will play again after this level," Erickson commented. "Anywhere from 4-6 months is the recovery. We really won't know until after the surgery."

Junior Keegan Herring and sophomore Dimitri Nance will shoulder the load in Torain absence. Both have combined for 663 rushing yards and six touchdowns this year, and filled in admirably for Torain in the win over Washington last weekend, when the senior left the game in the first half. JC transfer sophomore Jarrell Woods has yet to take the field this year due to an ankle injury, but is expected on make his debut in ten days in the team's next game – a home contest against Cal.

"As with everything that happens during the year, someone has to step up and take his place," said Erickson. "The bottom line is seeing him get hurt after seven games of his senior year is very tough."

"What we do now is continue to do what we do. We go with Keegan and Dimitri. Jarrell Woods should be back, and Preston Jones too….our guys will battle through it."

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