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Cole Wisniewski one-on-one: NDSU linebacker's journey back to the field after brutal Achilles tear

WDAY's Logan Campbell sits down one-on-one with NDSU linebacker Cole Wisniewski to discuss his recovery process to get back on the gridiron.

North Dakota State's Cole Wisniewski celebrates his fumble recovery for a touchdown against Montana with teammate Dom Jones during the NCAA FCS playoffs at the Fargodome on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022.
David Samson/The Forum
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FARGO — After finishing his sophomore season as the fourth leading tackler for NDSU, linebacker Cole Wisniewski was set to have a standout year his junior season — until a freak injury during winter workouts put football on pause.

"We were just doing our workouts as normal; it was actually my second set on the drill we were doing, then all of the sudden we heard a loud snap," Wisniewski said. "At first I thought I just got kicked, and I thought I just had to get up and finish the drill, but when I got up, I realized I couldn't run."

His teammates also quickly realized the severity of the injuries.

"I turned around, and all my teammates were looking at me, gasping at what happened. I realized it probably wasn't great," said the linebacker. "It was terrible news, especially when I was looking forward to such a promising season ahead."

Wisniewski was told that he tore his right Achilles, beginning a long journey back to the football field.


"From surgery to the first six to eight weeks, I couldn't really do anything. I was bed ridden. I couldn't do much."

While the linebacker was recovering from a torn Achilles, he also had surgery on his right hand.

"My whole right side was casted up," said Wisniewski. "Anyone who knows me at all knows I'm a super active person. There's probably never been a period in my life where I've had to be down for that long. So that really stunk."

After seven months of recovery and working his way back to full strength, the linebacker was ready to take the field again. But first, he had to jump over a mental hoop.

"I knew what player I had been before. I had a full year of experience leading up to the National Championship game, and I was playing at a really high level at that point," Wisniewski said.

After getting his first tackle during the Illinois State game, the junior's negative thoughts were all pushed away.

"My confidence, especially after this last game, is really high," the linebacker said. "I thought I played the best I ever had all season. Coach Braun even said 'Cole, I can see more pep in your step.'"

Check out the full sit-down interview between WDAY's Logan Campbell and Cole Wisniewski on Bison Gameday below:


Related Topics: BISON FOOTBALL
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