Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 12/30/11

This has got to be one of the most inspiring stories of the college football bowl season. This is more than a comeback. University of Illinois senior linebacker Trulon Henry was injured in a off-campus shooting November 13th. Henry, a two-year starter for the Illini (he moved from safety to linebacker this year) was shot in the hand and underwent surgery.

He missed the final two games of the season, both losses, to the Gophers and Badgers.

Henry, who was not originally at the party where the shooting occurred, was called by a teammate to help encourage players at the party to leave. Unfortunately, Henry was one of the three people shot at the gathering. The bullet exited through his forearm, and he suffered a broken bone.

But he’s going to suit up on New Year’s Eve versus UCLA in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

Henry is not expected to start at outside linebacker Saturday, but is on course to play after practicing with the team in Oakland over the past few days. He had the cast removed from his hand only a week ago. And his time table originally called for six weeks to heal, six weeks for rehab. I guess he’s a quick study, and the prime physical shape he’s in has speed up his recovery!

At the time of injury, Henry was ninth on the team with 39 tackles and is tied for the team lead with two interceptions.

Even before the shooting, Henry was quite an amazing story.

H’s the older brother of Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver and former Illini star Arrelious Benn (Henry inherited Benn’s #9 after Arrelious left early for the NFL) and spent more than four years in prison for armed robbery. He robbed a Safeway with his uncle. The Washington, D.C., native arrived at Illinois last season after spending two years at a junior college in Illinois.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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