FSU QB Chubba Purdy elated to be healthy for start of preseason practice
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'Blessed' to be back: FSU QB Chubba Purdy elated to be healthy, practicing

It was a smile almost nine months in the making.

Before a reporter had even finished his question Saturday afternoon, Florida State quarterback Chubba Purdy flashed a wide grin.

"It feels so good to be like 100 percent healthy, finally," the redshirt freshman said. "I've been so blessed to just overcome everything that I have. I've had the right people by my side, so I'm just super-pumped to be back out there."

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Redshirt freshman QB Chubba Purdy delivers a pass in front of tight ends coach Chris Thomsen on Saturday.
Redshirt freshman QB Chubba Purdy delivers a pass in front of tight ends coach Chris Thomsen on Saturday. (Gene Williams/Warchant)

*ALSO SEE: Live updates from FSU's first practice of the preseason

To understand the elation Purdy felt during FSU's first preseason practice, we need to flash back to his lowest moments.

Back to last November, when he made his first career start at North Carolina State and then found out he would need season-ending shoulder surgery. Purdy had already undergone two procedures on the non-throwing shoulder earlier in the year and thought he was in the clear when doctors explained there was another problem.

One day, he was completing 15 of 23 passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns against the Wolfpack. The next, he's hearing that his season is over.

"I was really down," Purdy said. "I didn't know what to do."

At his lowest points, the former four-star prospect said he leaned into his faith and leaned on his family and closest friends.

After consulting with his parents and head coach Mike Norvell, he even went back home to Arizona for several months to focus on his rehab and his mental health.

"You tend to get pretty depressed," Purdy said. "I was pretty depressed as well, I'm not gonna lie. It's really tough, and you start to question things. ...

"When you're feeling down and depressed, you've got to reach out to friends and family. That's just what I did mainly, and I prayed about it over and over. I just reached out to people. My coaches were there for me. The whole staff was there for me."

While he wasn't physically with his teammates and coaches during the spring and part of the summer, Purdy said he was never truly separated from the program.

"I was still on Zoom. I was still watching film with the coaches and doing all that kind of stuff," he said, adding that he never considered transferring to another program.

"I knew I was coming back for sure. I wasn't gonna leave."

Because he was limited in what he could do in terms of throwing, Purdy said he focused on the mental aspects of playing quarterback, and he also worked on improving his footwork.

He felt like both of those areas of improvement were on display as he split reps with fellow redshirt freshman Tate Rodemaker during Saturday's afternoon practice.

It was a long time coming. It was just over one month ago -- during Fourth of July weekend -- that Purdy received the all-clear on his final X-ray and determined he was ready to return to Tallahassee.

"I was like, 'I'm ready to go back,'" he said. "I feel great."

No one was happier to see Purdy back in action on Saturday than his head coach.

"I thought Chubba did some really good things today," Norvell said. "You could see ... it's been a long year for him. He has pushed, he has fought, he has stayed true to the work and all the things he needed to do. I thought it was a really good first day for him."

A good day that led to even more smiles.

"I had a great time today," Purdy said. "We all had a good day today. And it's good to be back with all my teammates."

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