It was the only word that could capture the moment when Jack Hoffman, a seven-year-old cancer patient, crossed the line and lit up the scoreboard Saturday on a 69-yard run at Nebraska’s annual spring scrimmage.
The young man had been in the hearts and minds of Nebraska players since meeting with running back Rex Burkhead last year. Since their first encounter, Burkhead has created #TeamJack, a support system championing Jack and spreading the word about his daily battle against brain cancer.
— Athlete Nation™ (@AthleteNationCO) April 7, 2013
Jack was first diagnosed with brain cancer in 2011 after suffering an epileptic seizure at the age of five and since has gone through countless MRIs, pathology reports and neurological surgeries aimed at reducing the tumor in his brain.
Since the creation of #TeamJack, the young man become an unofficial mascot and ongoing inspiration for the team, which invited him out to the game Saturday to run a play on 4th-and-1.
Jack walked onto the field wearing a youth-sized No. 22 Rex Burkhead jersey, ready to go the distance.
Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez took the snap, handed the ball to Jack and all bets were off. Jack took off with the ball, initially running away from his blockers. With a little help from Martinez, and the encouragement of all 60,174 fans in attendance at the game, the seven-year-old star got behind his blockers and began streaking for the end zone.
The cheering mounted as Jack neared the end zone, and the benches of both teams emptied as he crossed over the line. A sea of red and white mobbed the young man, lifting him up in his tiny helmet for all to see.
The run ended up making its way onto SportsCenter's Top 10, something which Burkhead was very excited about.
— Rex Burkhead (@RBrex2022) April 7, 2013
But how did Jack feel in all of this? What was it like for him to break free of everyone and score a touchdown?
“It felt awesome,” Jack said. "Really awesome."
On Twitter, hash-tagging the heck out of #TeamJack: Dr__Carson