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Calvin Bundage finally healthy after back surgery, ready to play again for Oklahoma State

The redshirt senior linebacker said he saw as many as eight doctors before having surgery.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 13 Oklahoma State at Kansas State Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

No one really expected Calvin Bundage to play football again after having back surgery last year.

Coaches, doctors and even family members didn’t see the Oklahoma State redshirt senior linebacker returning to the field. But one person did — himself.

Bundage sat out last season with a back injury, meeting with as many as eight doctors to find one who would give a chance at playing again.

“This last year has just been battling through adversity trying to get back on the field,” Bundage said Wednesday during his media availability. “Everybody was telling me that it was a big deal, you shouldn’t play football, but I went to a great doctor and he fixed it. People shy away from back surgery, but I guess mine turned out good.”

In 2018, the Edmond Santa Fe product started at outside linebacker and had 62 tackles (eight tackles for loss), 1.5 sacks and four quarterback hurries in 11 games. He could’ve had even more success if he was healthy at the time.

“I never really played fully healthy, but I didn’t know I wasn’t healthy,” Bundage said. “Now it’s a big difference. It’s great [to be back on the field]. It feels good to put everything at rest and prove I’m the best. I feel like I came back better than last time. I’m a better player this year.”

Bundage was listed as a backup to redshirt senior Amen Ogbongbemiga on the Cowboys’ two-deep roster Monday prior to OSU’s season opener against Tulsa, which was rescheduled to Sept. 19. Bundage said he doesn’t know exactly what his role will be among OSU’s linebacker group, but he’s ready to contribute.

“I feel great physically,” Bundage said. “I feel like I came in freshman year, total healthy.”