Ex-Cats

Ex-Cat Maxwell Smith determined to play in San Diego State’s bowl game despite torn ACL

Aztecs quarterback Maxwell Smith stood at the bench after getting injured during the first quarter.
Aztecs quarterback Maxwell Smith stood at the bench after getting injured during the first quarter. San Diego Union-Tribune

Maybe injured San Diego State quarterback Maxwell Smith isn’t done for the season after all.

He wants to give it the old college try, anyway.

Smith, who transferred from the University of Kentucky, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Saturday’s win over Nevada, and he was believed to be lost for the year.

But SDSU head coach Rocky Long said after Monday’s practice that Smith wants to play again — this season.

“He says he’s going to try to play in the bowl game,” Long said. “He’s going to try to rehab and put it in a brace and see if he can play with the brace and then he’s going to get operated on after the bowl game. That’s his plan right now. That’s what he wants to do.”

Backup quarterback Christian Chapman, a redshirt freshman from Carlsbad High, has been named the starter for Saturday’s Mountain West Championship Game against Air Force. The Aztecs will find out Sunday where they’re playing in the postseason when bowl invitations are officially extended.

That would give Smith some time to rehab his knee and see if what he intends is doable.

“The one position you could probably do it is quarterback,” Long said. “If you hand the ball off and straight drop back and all you do is throw it, you might (be able to play). ... I can’t believe he wants to try, to be honest with you, but if he wants to try, good for him.”

Long said team doctors do not have any problem with Maxwell trying to play.

“They said it was OK,” Long said. “They’re going to fix it anyway.”

There are instances of athletes playing with torn ACLs, including two notable local examples. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers played with a torn right ACL in the 2008 AFC championship game against New England. Golfer Tiger Woods won the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines while playing with a torn left ACL.

Smith could not immediately be reached for comment.

He did send out this tweet on Sunday: “Everything happens for a reason...Fall down 7 times get up 8! God’s got me and he’ll help me persevere through all life’s challenges.”

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