4-Time Cancer Survivor Casey O’Brien Has Touching Moment With P.J. Fleck After Minnesota Debut

first_imgMinnesota holder Casey O'Brien ahead of a game.MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – OCTOBER 12: Casey O’Brien #14 of the Minnesota Gophers looks on during warmups before the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at TCF Bank Stadium on October 12, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)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.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. 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.”That’s what college football’s all about.”Four-time cancer survivor Casey O’Brien just got his first hold for @GopherFootball.It was perfect, and so was everyone’s reaction. pic.twitter.com/mnaGvgsErF— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) October 19, 2019Casey O’Brien got the laces out, and made for a perfect hold for kicker Michael Lantz. After the kick went through, he was mobbed by his thrilled teammates, and then he made his way for the coach that gave him a chance to fulfill his college football dream.It’ll be hard to top this as a moment this week, or even this season.last_img read more

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