Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

QB Utter Hopes to Avoid Great Impact, Make Same

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

QB Utter Hopes to Avoid Great Impact, Make Same

Article excerpt

Here I am, Bob Utter thought, as he hovered over his crumpled body on the Oklahoma State sideline.

"I swear to God I had an out-of-body experience," said Utter, Iowa State's brittle quarterback. "It felt like (I was) buried alive and nobody knew it.

"I couldn't go out and touch anybody, I couldn't go out and tell anybody I was all right."

Utter had suffered his third concussion in a year, his second of the 1992 season.

But this was different, this sensation of a knee bashing his head like a bat to a pinata.

"He got that hit you don't want," Cyclones coach Jim Walden said.

Utter lay motionless, unconscious for more than an hour, in a condition that one doctor told him was "pre-coma."

"A doctor told me it's like being in a car without a seat belt on, hitting a (truck), going through the windshield and still being alive," Utter said. "Usually, people don't live through that, but I did.

"They say it was a third-degree concussion, but they just labeled it that because there's nothing else that can label what I had. I had a blood contusion inside my skull. That's what everybody was worried about. If that contusion broke and leaked inside my head, I was in serious trouble."

Utter, a junior, already has been granted a medical redshirt season for 1991, when he suffered an ankle injury and concussion No. 1. Nor did he get through 1990 unscathed.

Against Colorado, a miscommunication prompted a fumble on the snap and in the ensuing scramble, an Iowa State lineman fell on Utter's foot, causing tendon damage.

Flukes, all of them, Utter told himself. Until he tried to take down the Oklahoma State Cowboys defender who had intercepted his pass and instead butted heads with reality.

Never mind that Utter still doesn't remember the day he says altered his life.

"I don't remember the plane trip down there," he said. "I don't remember what Oklahoma State's field looked like, what the hotel looked like. I don't remember any of that.

"When you lose your memory like that, it kind of scares you."

Scared him enough that he seriously weighed quitting football.

"I asked my fiancee, `Am I done playing football?' She laughed and goes, `No,' " he said. …

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