One of the most exciting things about being a young student-athlete is the potential opportunity to play at the collegiate level. The off-season is a time for an athlete to grow, learn, and improve upon areas they may have been challenged with in the previous season or the time to improve upon their overall game. Conditioning, weights, and practices are all areas athletes focus on to bring their game to the next level.
Zach Taylor, a Division I prospect and James Clemens High school football standout, was faced with this challenge when he injured his knee during a routine off-season practice. The 6-foot, 5-inch 320-pound offensive lineman took a hit to the side of his knee when another player landed on it awkwardly. Trainers from the Huntsville Hospital Sports Center attended to his injury and brought Zach in to see the Team Physician, Dr. John Greco. With only weeks to go before the start of the season, Dr. Greco examined Zach, gathered additional imaging, and felt Zach could play through the season with the aid of a brace and rehabilitation. Indeed, Zach was able to finish his junior year, and accumulate more than two dozen scholarship offers in the process.
After his season ended, Dr. Greco addressed his knee surgically and Zach then started the rehab process all over again. Zach states that one of the hardest parts of his recovery was rebuilding his confidence while rehabbing the strength in his knee. Zach had difficulty with getting his stride back during the spring season following his surgery, but he was able to come back stronger than ever for his senior football season. Life has a way of throwing you a curveball, sometimes you land in the sand-trap, or other times you fumble the ball, but the way he recovered from those setbacks shows true determination and grit.
Says Zach: “Dr. Greco made things easy for me to understand and took the time to explain everything to me. He knew it was a very important time for me as I was being recruited by many schools… but, he reassured me that I would be just fine, and I would be ready. I ended up with 20 scholarship offers. Dr. Greco was always honest, so it was easy to trust what he said. His team treated me great, which I really appreciated. The Athletic Trainers, along with his team, provide me with a top-shelf experience.”
Zach has accepted an offer to play football for the University of Alabama-Birmingham for the 2020 season.
Dr. John Greco is a member of The Orthopaedic Center’s Sports Medicine Team and board-certified in orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine. He specializes in arthroscopic and open reconstruction of the knee and shoulder. Dr. Greco is Chief of Huntsville Hospital’s Sports Medicine program and is Team Physician for Alabama A&M University, Huntsville Havoc Hockey, City of Madison and multiple other schools and counties. Dr. Greco is a volunteer Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, and the University of Alabama in Birmingham Medical School. Dr. Greco brings his expertise and care to our Huntsville, Madison and Scottsboro locations.