For Hawaii wide receiver Vasquez Haynes, there's no feeling quite like getting in the end zone. But for the past year, the junior out of Texas has been relegated to spending games on the sideline after suffering a serious shoulder injury against Army in 2013 in what proved to be one of the most emotionally challenging games of his career.
"It was the last game of 2013 and I remember I was in the locker room and the emotions were crazy," Haynes said. "We had just found out that day my best friend, one of my close friends, Willie Will just passed away, so my last game was kind of emotional so I'm going to take those emotions into this first game."
For Haynes, that first game can't come soon enough.
"I'm coming out full speed, probably 120%. I feel like I've been saving up all of last year so I've got plenty of energy to come out this season."
Haynes isn't the only one who has had a long journey back to Aloha Stadium. Linebacker Jerroll Garcia-Williams tore his ACL nearly a year ago against Oregon State, but he's gone from crutches and braces last fall to being praised as an NFL-caliber player by defensive coordinator Tom Mason during preseason training camp.
"I'm sort of anxious, but more hungry to come back and show a lot that doubted me or didn't think I would come back stronger off my knee injury," Garcia-Williams said. "I know I've got to stay focused and just let the game come to me."
Haynes and Garcia-Williams will both suit up Thursday against Colorado, a 7pm kickoff at Aloha Stadium.
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