A walk-on special teams player at the University of Minnesota got the surprise of his life from head football coach P.J. Fleck during a team meeting on Wednesday. Justin Juenemann sat alongside his teammates as Kyle Tanner, a friend and patient at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital whom the team visits regularly, joined Coach Fleck at the front of the room and announced the red-shirt senior kicker as his favorite player.
“I remember seeing one particular person a lot [at the hospital],” Tanner said. “That was Justin.”
As the team applauded, Coach Fleck handed Tanner a t-shirt cannon, which he used to launch a shirt to the already stunned and excited Juenemann. The kicker made an excellent catch and, when he unfurled the white t-shirt, he saw that it had a special message printed in black writing that read, “Justin Congrats On Earning A Scholarship!” The room erupted with cheers from his teammates and the coaching staff as Juenemann took a moment to process the exciting surprise.
— P.J. Fleck (@Coach_Fleck) August 9, 2017
It doesn’t get better than this. These are the college version of Amry Vets coming home to their families videos. You can watch them all day, on repeat. Its the culmination of hard work and kindness paying off in the ultimate way. This scholarship wasn’t given to Juenemann because of his athletic contributions. It was given to him for being a great guy. For all the intangibles. For everything, you want in a person, not a football player. A scholarship well earned and well deserved. Congrats Justin, here’s to hoping more college athletes are rewarded the same way you were for showing the same type of character you have. When you impact a sick kid like you have, it’s only right that type of treatment and selflessness is shown right back to you. Coach Fleck is good in Bleacher Fan’s book for eternity.