Austin Jensen was supposed to be in Boca Raton today, showing his stuff during Florida Atlantic’s Junior Pro Day.
Spring semester is in full swing, and Jensen is supposed to be attending classes and taking notes.
Instead, he’s back in Bradenton, readying himself for the biggest fight of his young life.
Grateful? No doubt.
“I’m really blessed I came out of it the way I did,” Jensen said Thursday night, “and that I’m still here.”
“It” refers to last month’s horrific car accident that left the Manatee alum and FAU junior with a fractured skull and broken pelvis, and put his life, and football career, in serious jeopardy.
Rather than dwell on the negative, however, Jensen is reveling in the positive.
He’s thankful for the support, for the more than 200 visitors that stopped by while Jensen was recovering at the Delray Beach Medical Center.
“The nurses ... said I broke a record for most visitors,” he said. “It was really cool to see.”
He’s thankful that the headaches are disappearing, and that the accident didn’t take away his ability to speak or think.
“The neurologist, his jaw dropped to the floor every single day,” Jensen said. “He couldn’t believe how fast I was healing.”
Jensen would much rather be in Boca Raton than Bradenton, playing in front of pro scouts and readying himself for another season of Division I football. Instead, he’s back home, getting around with a walker while his body gets busy healing.
“I’m doing better every single day,” Jensen said.
But life goes on, accidents and all, and all Jensen can do is fight through it. And that’s what he plans to do.
Jensen is an athlete, and athletes know how to compete — on the field as well as off of it.
In his eyes, this is just another opponent, one he plans on combating with the same sort of vigor he used every Friday night as a Hurricane and every Saturday afternoon as an Owl.
“I’m ready to do this at 100 miles an hour,” Jensen said, “like I do everything else.”
He’s ready to move forward. His first goal is to right himself in the classroom, and Jensen is debating whether to take a medical withdrawal from his classes or do his best to catch up when he returns to campus later in the spring.
Then he plans on getting back on the football field.
“Personally, I think I’ll be playing in the fall,” Jensen said. “I still have my goals.”
Most importantly, he still has all the faculties he needs to achieve them.
And despite all the bad that has happened this past month, Jensen couldn’t be more grateful for that.