Drew Barker’s 2016 football season did not end the way he and his family expected. Instead of leading his team to a victory over Louisville, he was sitting on the couch next to his father, recovering from back surgery.
Named the starting quarterback following spring practice, the first half of Barker’s first game as UK’s starter was fantastic. “It almost seemed like magic,” Barker’s father Terry told Mark Story of the Herald-Leader. Then, it turned into a nightmare.
After losing the lead to Southern Miss, Barker was sacked on the first play of the Florida game. Terry Barker believes that hit either injured him, or exacerbated a pre-existing condition.
“Look, I’m not a doctor and I don’t play one on TV,” Terry Barker joked. “But, apparently there is a nerve tree that runs out of the right side of your spine down to your right leg and one that runs out of the left side down to your left leg. And there was something putting pressure on Drew’s right side (nerves) that was causing his (right) leg to really hurt.”
The pain Drew endured sounds horrific.
“I think it’s fair to say (Drew’s) leg hurt every day,” Terry Barker said. “Some days, it hurt more than others. In some ways, he kind of got used to it hurting. But, some days, just doing what a college student has to do – walking to class, sitting in class, carrying a book bag – was really painful for him.”
Since the surgery, Drew felt immediate relief in his leg. It’s a long road to recovery, but his father believes he could participate in spring practice on a limited basis and be ready to compete once again this fall.