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Seven-year-old battling brain cancer scores TD in Nebraska’s spring game

Jack Hoffman AP

By and large, the handful of spring games contested Saturday were rather pedestrian and mundane affairs, as should be expected.

Then there was Nebraska’s spring closer.

In the fourth quarter of the Cornhuskers’ annual spring game, No. 22 Jack Hoffman trotted off the sidelines and onto the field as the Red team was facing a critical fourth-and-one.  Now, you won’t find Hoffman in your game-day program or on any online roster; you see, Jack is a seven-year-old little boy who is battling pediatric brain cancer and has been adopted by the NU football family.

With quarterback Taylor Martinez lined up in the shotgun, and Jake lined up directly to his left, well, the following happened:

 

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“That was awesome for the team and for Jack,” Martinez said after the game in quotes distributed by the school. “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.”

“Yeah, we drew up the play probably 30 seconds before so I’m sure it was all a blur for him,” fullback C.J. Zimmerer, who has been involved with Team Jack for several months, 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.”

To put an official stamp on the heartwarming, lump-in-the-throat gesture, here’s a portion of the box score Nebraska sent out following the spring game.  Pay particular attention to the Red team’s leading rusher:

Jake Hoffman Box Score

God bless little Jack as he continues his brave fight against this insidious disease.  And God bless the Nebraska football program for what they have done, did and will continue to do for that little boy and his family.

Just, wow.

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33 Responses to “Seven-year-old battling brain cancer scores TD in Nebraska’s spring game”
  1. buckeye94 says: Apr 6, 2013 9:08 PM

    Put a smile on my face! God bless the little guy hope he can get better; defiantly in my prayers. From the Buckeye family to the Cornhusker family kudos on this.

  2. ttalarico says: Apr 6, 2013 9:20 PM

    From the Notre Dame family to the Huskers family, good job!!

    Our prayers go with Jack and may the luck of the Irish be with him!!

  3. skinsfan2 says: Apr 6, 2013 9:58 PM

    As a long time Husker fan these last 15 or so years haven’t brought the same level of enjoyment the previous 30 years did. But gestures like this show we’re still a pretty classy program. GBR!

  4. be4bama says: Apr 6, 2013 10:15 PM

    Way to go HUSKERS!!! Roll Jack Roll

  5. addict2sport says: Apr 6, 2013 10:21 PM

    That is what sports is all about. What an awesome story. Thanks for reporting this one!

  6. sparty0n says: Apr 6, 2013 11:00 PM

    Classy move Huskers

  7. tommy57 says: Apr 6, 2013 11:17 PM

    Nebraska is a class act. Godspeed, Jack!

  8. kansacity88 says: Apr 6, 2013 11:34 PM

    Okay, now that was cool!! I almost wish I was at the game to see that!

  9. normtide says: Apr 6, 2013 11:50 PM

    Will done Nebraska, well done.

    Godspeed Jack, you were by far the strongest young man on that field, or any other.

  10. canetic says: Apr 6, 2013 11:59 PM

    That kid has some speed! Way to find the lane and take it to the house!

  11. 27xwschamps says: Apr 7, 2013 12:37 AM

    Even though were rivals on the field, and try to beat each other every year, great job big red 👍…hawkeye nation in tejas !!!

  12. barbeaux says: Apr 7, 2013 12:48 AM

    What an awesome gesture…college sports at its finest.

  13. irishdodger says: Apr 7, 2013 12:59 AM

    That’s what it’s all about. God bless Jack. Thanks to the Cornhuskers for making that wonderful memory.

  14. draconian1111 says: Apr 7, 2013 4:21 AM

    Not s single negative reply – way to go!
    Even though I have moved to Texas – I am still a Cornhusker.
    Team rooting be damned – it was a class act.

    Way to go Jack!

  15. thegamecocker says: Apr 7, 2013 9:19 AM

    Congratulations to Jack and the Cornhuskers! What a CLASS thing to do! Whom ever coordinated this action deserves much credit! Honestly, it brought tears to my eyes. Jack will always remember that TD. G-d bless him. The Gamecocker

  16. gorilladunk says: Apr 7, 2013 9:44 AM

    Saw this on the news Sat. night and thought it was one of the finest, most heartwarming stories I’ve ever seen. From a former rival in the crimson and cream, I tip my hat to Nebraska football and the players and coaches who made this happen, Just OUTSTANDING!!

  17. goodfieldnohit says: Apr 7, 2013 10:23 AM

    This is awesome. Nicely done, Huskers.

    Go Team Jack

  18. seanb20124 says: Apr 7, 2013 10:40 AM

    Great to see these stories

  19. amosalanzostagg says: Apr 7, 2013 11:13 AM

    winning a national championship………………….$ 1,000,000

    winning multiple national championships………$10,000,000

    Nebraska’s classy move with a cancer patient…..Priceless

    Way to go Big Red! This is what we need more of.

  20. poison66 says: Apr 7, 2013 2:19 PM

    From the Oklahoma State family, we are pulling for you little Jack!!!! Btw, who are the fools on here putting a thumbs down to these posts??? Devil worshippers??

  21. blackshirtz says: Apr 7, 2013 2:58 PM

    Holy Moly!! Man, woman, and child did that put ‘em in the isles!!!

    Way to go Jack!

    I have always been proud to be a Nebraska Cornhusker fan, but never so much as today!

    The Sea of Red went nuts!

    This is a special place.

  22. 4thqtrsaint says: Apr 7, 2013 3:48 PM

    If that doesn’t get right to your heart, you don’t have a pulse. The coolest thing I’ve ever seen on a football field.

    Props to the kid. Props to Nebraska.

  23. latchbeam says: Apr 7, 2013 5:26 PM

    Typical Nebraska Defense… joking aside, that was amazing!! I love that he made the box score! Great job Nebraska… very classy move. Praying for the little guy to get well!!!!

  24. lowtalker says: Apr 7, 2013 6:20 PM

    hey latch beam, I was thinking that was the same play Wisconsin kept running for 20 yards a pop . . . . .(I am a Husker fan) . . . . and seriously, the best football play I have ever seen . . . and I agree with the earlier posts that the “thumbs down” folks must be devil worship peers . . .maybe they would be proud enough to post their real na,es and addresses and phone numbers

  25. tlmoon2112 says: Apr 7, 2013 6:33 PM

    Love it! My son whom was lost to cancer would have loved it too.

  26. mommabird2013 says: Apr 8, 2013 8:04 AM

    AWESOME JOB GUYS!!!! BRAVO….BRAVO! ONE OF THE GREATEST ACTS OF KINDNESS I HAVE SEEN IN A LONG TIME FROM THIS WORLD OF SELFISHNESS! THANK YOU!

  27. latrobe21 says: Apr 8, 2013 9:13 AM

    The kid had some moves. Hope to see him playing for the Big Red in 10 years when they visit Beaver Stadium.

  28. gatorprof says: Apr 8, 2013 9:51 AM

    Great stuff! Praying for Jack…

  29. thegamecocker says: Apr 8, 2013 1:52 PM

    @tlmoon2112

    Sorry for your loss. I’m sure your son saw it from above and rooted for Jack Hoffman when he scored the TD. Keep moving forward as I’m sure that is what your son wants for you and your Family.

    G-d Bless. The Gamecocker

  30. tominma says: Apr 9, 2013 9:06 AM

    I cant say I am a Huksers fan tho I DID follow them closely in the 70s and 80s cuz I LOVED their style of play! THIS play far exceeded any play the Huksers have run in VERY long time! It gave me goosebumps!

  31. artworkworld says: Apr 9, 2013 10:35 PM

    Even as a Texas fan, I have always been impressed by the Nebraska fans, but this makes me feel food about the whole organization. Go kick butt in the Big Ten.

  32. dkhhuey says: Apr 11, 2013 2:23 PM

    I’m going to have to talk to the office manager because there is an incredible amount of dust/dirt in this place because my eyes would not stop watering up while I was watching this clip!

    What a great thing to do for this little fighter! Nicely done folks!!! Nicely done!

  33. thestatsishere says: Apr 15, 2013 2:23 PM

    I’m almost crying in class. Such a wonderful, beautiful, gracious gesture. And I’m not even a Nebraska fan. Wonderful.

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