7-Year-Old Brain Cancer Patient Scores 69 Yard TD in University of Nebraska Spring Football Game

Try to watch the following video without crying. I dare you. I double dare you.

On Saturday, at the conclusion of a spring college football game at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a seven-year-old boy named Jack Hoffman, who's struggling with brain cancer, ran for a 69 yard touchdown.

Here's how it was described at Omaha.com:

In a moment likely to go down in Husker lore, 7-year-old Jack Hoffman of Atkinson, Neb., scored the final points of Nebraska's spring game Saturday.

Jack, battling a rare form of brain cancer, took a handoff from quarterback Taylor Martinez, started to the left side, cut back to the right (with a guiding hand from Martinez) and led a host of Huskers 69 yards to the end zone. [...]

Just before fourth-and-one with 6:41 to play in the game, [head coach Bo] Pelini called time out. Graduate assistant Joe Ganz drew up the play for Jack on a Dry Erase Board, and the wide-eyed youngster trotted out with the Husker offense.

Martinez directed him to the right position, took the snap and handed him the ball. Then, like any good running back, Jack looked for the hole.

“Yeah, he was really nervous when he got there,” Martinez said. “You saw him run the wrong way, so I had to grab him and lead him the right way. It was awesome for him.”

Soon, there was nothing but end zone ahead. [...]

In an instant, young Jack was engulfed in a sea of Huskers, all happy to partake in Jack's moment.


More from Huskers.com:

What America has here is a pint-sized national hero who's stolen hearts across the country. He's become a catalyst for a program with college football’s best overall record over the past 50 years, not to mention home for an unprecedented 325 consecutive home game sellouts. Talk about positive brand awareness. Here are a dozen ways Jack is representing Nebraska, Husker football, Big Red fans and pediatric brain cancer:

1) Jack becomes the game’s leading rusher on one magical play.

2) Jack receives the game ball in the locker room from Coach Pelini.

3) Jack becomes the No. 1 video “Play of the Day” on ESPN.

4) Jack is swarmed by Nebraska media, warmed by national response.

5) ESPN played, replayed and kept Jack prominent in its rotation.

6) ESPN.com headline asks: “Is Jack’s touchdown the greatest one ever?”

7) Kirk Herbstreit: "One of the coolest things I've seen in a long time."

8) Erin Andrews of Fox Sports to nearly 1.8 million Twitter followers: “I love Nebraska, Bo Pelini, and the fball team for allowing that little fan to have a moment like that today!"

9) Actress Alyssa Milano to 2.4 million followers: “OMG! MUST see! Tiny cancer survivor scores in Nebraska's spring game & Nebraska go NUTS”

10) ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt tweets how "a 7-year-old named Jack Hoffman & Nebraska reminded us why we love them.”

11) ESPN’s Stuart Scott and Colin Cowherd and SI.com’s Stewart Mandel follow suit. Warning: "Keep a tissue nearby".

12) Larry the Cable Guy tweets that “Jack got-r-done!!” and “made a lot of people happy today. Tell him Mater was cheering him on.”


All I can say as the proud father of a Nebraska alum is Wow!

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.