An injury that ended the season for Washington quarterback Johnny DuRocher against Stanford led to a potentially life-saving discovery.
During examinations on the concussion, doctors discovered a brain tumor, and DuRocher will have surgery Nov. 30.
Through a team spokesman, DuRocher confirmed Monday that the tumor is benign, or non-cancerous. That means the chances of a full recovery are good.
Still, it is unlikely he will ever play football again.
DuRocher is scheduled to meet the media today. He told the web site Dawgman.com Monday that the tumor "is the size of a golf ball."
"It's got to be tough for any kid to have a brain tumor, but I think he's positive about it," said Eric Kurle, DuRocher's coach at Bethel High, where he was the 2002 Gatorade State Player of the Year. "I think he feels like 'get it done and move on.' I think he's pretty much taking it in stride. He's pretty positive that things are going to work out for him. Football isn't the only thing in his life."
If he recovers fully, DuRocher expects to turn out for UW's baseball team as a pitcher this season. He made decision before he knew of the tumor, saying two weeks ago he expected to return for his senior football season.
Now, it seems almost certain he threw his last pass in the third quarter against Stanford on Nov. 11, an interception in which he was blindsided by a Cardinal defender during the runback, causing a concussion. He had several exams last week, during which time the tumor was discovered. He did not make the trip with the team for the Apple Cup.
Shortly after the 35-32 win over Washington State, the Huskies held a moment of silence for DuRocher in their locker room.
After a standout career at Bethel in Graham, DuRocher signed with Oregon and spent the 2003 season and part of the 2004 season with the Ducks. He left Oregon in September 2004, graduated from a junior college, transferred to UW and became eligible last fall.
DuRocher played in five games in 2005, completing 24 of 54 passes as a reserve to Isaiah Stanback. He fell to No. 3 on the depth chart this season and saw action in only two games, completing 5 of 17 passes with two interceptions and one touchdown, the latter sending the Arizona State game into overtime.
Without DuRocher, the Huskies will have just one experienced quarterback returning next year — Carl Bonnell. Jake Locker, a true freshman who redshirted this season, will also be in the mix and the Huskies have a commitment from Ronnie Fouch, a high-school quarterback in California.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or email@example.com