Penn State wideout Drake fractures left tibia

Wideout Curtis Drake will miss at least the first two games.
Wideout Curtis Drake will miss at least the first two games.
Posted: August 11, 2010

Penn State sophomore wide receiver Curtis Drake, who quarterbacked West Catholic High to the PIAA Class AA state championship game in 2008, will miss at least the first two games of the season and possibly more after fracturing his left tibia during a Monday practice, a source said.

The 5-11, 174-pound Drake, who had eight receptions for 98 yards as a true freshman, was injured on a play that did not involve contact.

"Nothing happened [that should have caused the injury]," Drake said when contacted by the Daily News. "I was just running, that's all."

Initial reports are that Drake will miss anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks after undergoing surgery, which means he will be unavailable to play in the Sept. 4 season opener against Youngstown State and, more significantly, the Sept. 11 game at defending national champion Alabama. He conceivably could be out through the Oct. 9 game against Illinois in Beaver Stadium, which might prompt coach Joe Paterno to consider redshirting him.

But Drake, who entered preseason practice second on the depth chart behind senior Brett Brackett at one of the three wide receiver slots, is optimistic his return to the field will be sooner rather than later.

"I guess I'm disappointed I won't be able to play at the start of the season, but I'm more concerned about just getting healthy," he said. "They said I could be out a couple of months, but after my surgery I expect to be back in 6 weeks, and maybe sooner."

Drake, who said his freshman season "went pretty well," was one of only eight true freshmen to see game action a year ago. He had been slowed this summer by a stress fracture in his left foot, and was cited in July by police for his involvement in a fight with freshman basketball recruit Toran Buie.

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