College GameDay viewers may be familiar with Minnesota holder Casey O’Brien. The Golden Gophers holder, a four-time cancer survivor, was profiled on the Sept. 28 edition of ESPN’s popular college football pregame show. O’Brien was first diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, the same rare form of bone cancer that inspirational Purdue superfan Tyler Trent had, as a high school freshman. The disease threatened his football career back then, when he was 13.
Source (TheSpun) –
Instead of giving up the game when he was told that he could never play again, he continued with it. It did facilitate his move from quarterback to holder, as doctors told him he couldn’t be hit while playing the sport, which is obviously a tough promise to keep in football.
Now, he plays for his home state Big Ten program. This summer, entering his sophomore season, he was selected as the featured student-athlete speaker at Big Ten Media Days, something often reserved for a big-name player. He turned out to be an appropriate choice. The Athletic‘s Bruce Feldman wrote that it took just five minutes of an interview at that event to give the veteran goosebumps for the first time when speaking to a player.
Four-time cancer survivor Casey O'Brien got his first hold for the Gophers. Words can't do these type of moments justice. ???
— Stuff That Matters ?? (@StuffMattersPod) October 19, 2019
At that point, O’Brien hadn’t gotten a snap in a real game. That changed today, during Minnesota’s 42-7 win over Rutgers, he played for the first time. As you could guess, it was an amazing moment. After the play, he shared a very touching moment with head coach P.J. Fleck.