Or, more specifically, re-enter.
Liufau sustained a Lis Franc injury in November and didn’t participate in spring practice as he continued his rehab. There was even some speculation that the senior could miss the entire 2016 season, or at least the first portion.
This past week, both the player and his head coach put that notion to rest.
“He’s ready to go,” Mike MacIntyre said of Liufau being medically cleared to participate fully when summer camp kicks off Aug. 4. “Obviously, we’ll still be careful with him and take all necessary precautions. But his progress has been what we had hoped for. He worked extremely hard throughout the offseason to get to this point and we’re counting on big things from him.”
“I’m ready to go,” Liufau said. “Trainers and coaches are still going to be cautious, but I’ll see everyone in August. Since the day it happened, I was determined to come back and I worked hard to make it happen. Now I’m ready to play football.”
Prior to the injury, Liufau had started 29 of the previous 30 games for the Buffaloes. He set career-highs in 2014 in completion percentage (65.3), yards (3,200) and passing touchdowns (28), as well as rushing touchdowns (five). For that performance, he was named honorable mention All-Pac-12.
With Liufau returning, and provided he remains healthy, redshirt freshman Steven Montez and senior Jordan Gehrke, who started the regular-season finale in place of Liufau and has two career starts under his belt, are expected to battle for the backup job throughout camp.