Former Rice star Trevor Cobb, who won the Doak Walker Award in 1991 given to the nation's top running back, is recovering from a stroke that nearly cost him his life.
Cobb said fast action by his wife who called 911 on June 15, and the doctors at St. Luke's Hospital in the Woodlands saved his life.
"That day I woke up with back pain and my whole left side went numb," Cobb said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. "I couldn't walk.
"That's when Christine came in and called 911 because she couldn't get me up. The paramedics got there fast. As soon as we called them they were knocking on the door."
Things would get worse that day before they got better.
"When I got to the hospital the stroke happened," Cobb said. My tongue got fat. My (breathing) got blocked. So they had to stick tubes down my throat so I could breathe."
He said he was told if he had suffered the stroke at home it probably would have been fatal.
"I wouldn't have been able to make it," Cobb said. "Probably I would have died. (St. Luke's) has meant a lot to me.
"They saved my life."
Cobb initially suffered paralysis on his left side. However, he is regaining some feeling there and he is able to move his left leg a little bit, which is a good thing.
Cobb's doctors have told him, "Projected, a full recovery.
"Six months to a year," he said.
And Cobb said there are several reasons why he suffered the stroke.
"Sleep Apnea," Cobb said. "They say high blood pressure. I had blockage.
"Combination of Sleep Apnea, high blood pressure, high cholesterol didn't help."
Cobb is facing a long rehabilitation before he will be able to walk again.
He and his family are also facing severe financial challenges.
"Right now I don't have any insurance," Cobb said. "So it's going to take a lot of prayers to get in a rehab center. They have charitable spaces there. That's what I'm trying to get into. It cost $2000 a day to go through the process, to rehab.
Cobb and his family have established a web site, www.trevorscobb.com, for those who would like to help him battle his medical expenses.
"Being a football player you're used to rehabbing, going against adversity and coming back," Cobb said. "So this is something right up my alley, I believe.
"I just reflect back on how blessed I've been. I was pretty close to death. So reflect back (on) how lucky I've been. I'm going to take full advantage of this opportunity to ride that positive wave."
Cobb said he is very thankful for the many members of the Rice family, including Coach David Bailiff, who have come to the hospital to offer their support
"My goal is to be able to walk again and be independent and get back to where I was and get faster and stronger and also try to be an inspiration for other stroke victims, sleep apnea victims," Cobb said.
"I want to go in the community and speak about it."
However, Cobb understands he is facing the challenge of his lifetime before he is fully recovered.
"Ultimate challenge," Cobb said. "This is my Super Bowl."