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2015...Marcell Ateman had just put together a season that put him on the path to stardom. His expectations for his senior season went through the roof...until one wrong step at practice changed everything.
"I had a stress fracture to my fifth Metatarsal," says Marcell Ateman. "I've never had an injury or nothing that has set me back from this game. When it kind of first happened it was kind of like dang did it really just happen?"
What followed were numerous surgeries and rehab.
"After I got all the surgeries and the doctors told me what was going to go on. That's kind of when it hit me was when they told me I wasn't going to be able to play," added Ateman.
The injury not only forced him to miss the 2016 season, but also put his NFL dream on hold. Something he says changed who he was as a person and a teammate, for the better.
"I feel like that year, having it taken away from me really built my purpose. It helped me gain and relive why I was playing the game. I don't play for myself no more. It's not about me," said Ateman.
Teammate and fellow wide receiver James Washington says, "He can bench five more pounds than me and he's talking mess. That'll make me put five and a half pounds more on it just to make him mad. We're always competing with each other. "
"Everything happens for a reason I think so it's fun because we're all going to go out together," added quarterback Mason Rudolph.
For Ateman, he just takes it one step and one snap at a time. And no longer takes that for granted.
"It's a blessing from god. I say it every time. It's just a great feeling to know I can be back out here."
In Stillwater, Dylan Buckingham, Oklahoma's NewsChannel four sports.