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UMass QB Ross Comis glad to be healthy and competing to start

  • UMass quarterback Ross Comis warms up during the first practice of the season on Sunday, July 30, 2017. GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING

  • UMass quarterbacks Ross Comis, left, and Andrew Ford, third from left, work on handoffs with centers Derek Dumais and Lukas Kolter, respectively, during the Minutemen's first practice of the season on Sunday, July 30, 2017. GAZETTE STAFF / KEVIN GUTTING



@MattVautourDHG
Thursday, August 10, 2017

AMHERST — Ross Comis said he isn’t physically limited or mentally hesitant from the knee injury that ended his 2016 season before the halfway point.

Heading into Saturday night’s scrimmage, the junior quarterback is focused on competing for UMass’ open starting job.

“Anytime you get hurt like that and you rehab for that long, you get frustrated. I’m so happy to be back and I’m excited to be with the guys,” he said. “I’m back to 100 percent. The rehab was long and, at times, frustrating, but ultimately I’m back where I want to be, and I’m excited to help this team out.”

Comis’ recovery was quick given the severity of his injury. He said the injury isn’t in the back of his mind when he’s playing.

“I don’t think about it. It’s second nature for me to move around and be the player that I am in the pocket,” he said. “I have a knee brace. They advise me to wear it. I don’t like it, but I’m used to it. It doesn’t hinder any of my play.”

UMass coach Mark Whipple said Comis looked like himself.

“He’s been good, really good. He’s back to himself. He’s running around. He’s made cuts. It’s been almost a year. It just takes some time.”

Comis started the first two games of last season and struggled against two upper level defenses — Florida and Boston College. He wasn’t able to move the offense, and Whipple switched to Andrew Ford.

Comis relieved a struggling Ford and played well enough against Tulane to start against Old Dominion, but suffered a knee and Ford started the rest of the season.

Comis felt like he didn’t show what was capable of last year and thought the decision to open the starting job showed that Whipple thought he could do more than he did.

“It shows that Coach Whip knows what I can do. Last year at the beginning of the year I wasn’t able to get things going smoothly. Against Boston College, in the second quarter, I hurt my shoulder and came back against Tulane and played well and then against Old Dominion I tore my ACL.”

Whipple said his eventual decision will be based a combination of performance in camp and what he’s seen from the quarterbacks in the past.

“It’s both. It’s a good situation,” Whipple said. “We have two starting quarterbacks. It’s the best situation we’ve probably ever had. They’re both doing good things.”

Comis said he wants to win regardless of who starts.

“Andrew is a great dude. Whether we both play or he plays it does not matter,” Comis said. “I’m with him. He’s with me. We’re excited to win some games.”

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage