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Oklahoma State Wrestling

Update on Athletes from Head-On Collision: Ferrari Out for Season, Rodriguez Running Again

February 15, 2022

STILLWATER – The aftermath of the head-on collision on Jan. 24 that sent Oklahoma State wrestling star 197-pound competitor A.J. Ferrari by medi-flight helicopter to Oklahoma City and Oklahoma State track and cross-country All-American Isai Rodriguez to Stillwater Medical Center for treatment is still very fortunate, but it has had impacts on the two athlete’s careers. The other individual in the accident, Valinda McKee of Ripley came away from the accident with no injuries. The most serious impact involves the driver, Ferrari. Monday night (Feb. 14) on his weekly radio show Oklahoma State head coach John Smith said Ferrari is finished for this season.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Ferrari is extremely popular with his brass style.

Ferrari is the NCAA defending champion at 197-pounds and was unbeaten at 10-0 this season and ranked No. 1 at the weight. Ferrari had some internal injuries and also suffered a concussion. He has reportedly been very slow and has spent a lot of time sleeping. There was also an unsubstantiated report that he had some shoulder issues. That report may be true now as Smith said that Ferrari would be having surgery. It is possible that the surgery could be to treat a shoulder issue.

Ferrari is still backing his partners with NIL. He is a dynamo in so many ways. 

Until his announcement on the radio show, Smith has called Ferrari day-to-day and left open the possibility that he might be back for postseason. The Cowboys as a team were 10-0 when the accident occurred and since they have been 1-4 and most recently lost to Iowa 23-9 in the Bout at the Ballpark at the Texas Rangers Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Robert Allen - Pokes Report
Smith was smiling as he talked about  Rodriguez.

While the very popular and sometimes over-the-top Ferrari is out for the wrestling season, his good friend and the owner of the Dodge SUV that Ferrari was driving, Isai Rodriguez was back on the track in an indoor meet last weekend.

“He is doing well. He shocks me all the time. I honestly, though he might not race again this season,” detailed Oklahoma State director of track and field and cross-country Dave Smith. “We were going to Seattle last week and I didn’t put him on the travel list, and he said, ‘why did you forget me?’ I told him, I didn’t forget you. I didn’t think you were going.”

He told Smith he was feeling great and wanted to go. Smith thought it might be too soon as Rodriguez suffered a collapsed lung in addition to his facial injury from hitting the windshield in the accident. Rodriguez had also missed a lot of training time on the track.

Oklahoma State Athletics
Isai Rodriguez in cross country season.

“There were seven heats in the 3K, starting from slowest to fastest and I had him seeded in the third heat,” Smith said. He said, ‘what am I doing in that heat?’ He negotiated himself up to the sixth heat, which was probably still too much for him and he ran a fairly decent time. I think if he’d been in a slower heat that he would have run even better. He is a believer. His attitude and belief system is like A.J. and that is why they get along so well. We are going up to the (Big 12) conference meet in two weeks and I think he is going to run well.”

Rodriguez is also expected to do well in his specialty, the 10,000-meters, during the upcoming outdoor season.

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Update on Athletes from Head-On Collision: Ferrari Out for Season, Rodriguez Running Again

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