Sunday, April 7, 2013

Jack Hoffman - a touching story

Jack Hoffman scrambling with the football

Jack Hoffman just might go down as the biggest star of the Nebraska spring game. And he's only 7 years old. Hoffman, of Atkinson, Nebraska, has won the hearts of fans and everyone in the football program for his courageous bout with brain cancer. Star running back Rex Burkhead befriended Jack last year and is the captain of the support network known as "Team Jack."

7 year-old Jack Hoffman with his parents in the hospital
Wearing a miniature Burkhead uniform complete with a No. 22 jersey, Jack ran onto the field late in Saturday's scrimmage. The Cornhusker fan and friend of the football team led the Huskers in rushing yards on the day. “Obviously, Jack’s a young man who has touched the hearts of a lot of people,” coach Bo Pelini said. “Our football team and the student body have gotten behind him, and he’s become a big part of the team. We weren’t sure if he was going to want to do it. We brought the idea to his dad, and I thought it was a pretty special thing.”
Hoffman scored on a 69-yard run for the Red team. Taylor Martinez and Joe Ganz drew up a play with him on the sideline. “That was awesome for the team and for Jack,” Martinez said. “He’s going to remember that for the rest of his life and so will I. It was awesome for him to score that touchdown.”

Jack Hoffman scoring a touchdown for the Nebraska football team
The play call was spontaneous according to senior fullback C.J. Zimmerer, but the Red team put some serious thought into giving Hoffman a clear path to the end zone and letting him run. Zimmerer said. “I was telling some of the other reporters that he did a great job. We wanted to get him around the edge, giving him a nice lane to the end zone. He did a great job running his little legs there. He’s fast for a little guy. He did a great job for the pressure of 60,000 fans. I’m sure it was not very easy for a 7-year-old.”

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