It’s not a significant injury that will cost Wisconsin one of its top signees in its latest recruiting class. Instead, it’s something that was potentially far, far worse and exponentially more serious.
In an absolutely tremendous article by Jason Galloway of the Wisconsin State Journal earlier this week, Jaden Gault confirmed that he will not play for the Badgers in 2014. The reason, which the offensive lineman bravely and very publicly acknowledged, is quite simple: depression.
And, not “down in the dumps feeling dour” depression, mind you. No, this was depression at the bottom half of the “f it, end it all” spectrum.
“I was almost like a zombie,” Gault told the State Journal. “I was getting kind of hopeless. I didn’t feel like doing anything or being there at all. I just wanted to check out.
“I wanted to just be done with life. Being in that kind of stage, you really have no other options in your head at that time.”
Thankfully, Gault never got to the point where he was literally and irreversibly done with his life. Instead, Gault — a U.S. Army All-American who, along with running back Taiwan Deal and “athlete” Dareian Watkins, was the highest-rated member of UW’s 2014 class — got the help he needed after enrolling early with the intention of participating in spring practice. From the paper:
Gault was hospitalized as a precaution after having suicidal thoughts in early February, and again during the first week of March. At that point, he realized he needed to leave the UW football team temporarily and miss spring practice.
Along with his leave from the team, Gault also dropped two of his four spring classes, began working with a psychiatrist and a psychologist on a weekly basis and participated in an intensive, three-week outpatient care program that included group therapy and practice using coping strategies.
As expected, the football program is standing behind the player and will welcome him back to the team, if everything goes well and as planned, in January.
Again, I’d strongly recommend you take a couple of minutes and Galloway’s piece HERE. Trust me, it’ll be well worth your time.
(Photo credit: Rivals.com)