MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There was an amazing moment captured on video on Wednesday with the Gophers football team.
But it has to do mostly with what one player did off the field. Justin Juenemann got a big surprise when he found out Wednesday he was getting a full scholarship for his senior year. But he’s never even played in a game.
WCCO’s Kate Raddatz shows how the moment unfolded and the heart-warming reason Justin was chosen.
A three-minute video posted by the Minnseota Gophers begins with the usual energy we’ve come to expect from head football coach PJ Fleck. But this team meeting is different.
He introduces Kyle Tanner, who’s recovering from a bone marrow transplant, and asks him about his favorite player.
“I remember in the hospital seeing one particular person a lot, that was Justin,” Tanner says in the video.
That’s Justin Juenemann, a senior kicker.
“It’s just so awesome to see him in the team room to talk about what he’s gone through because all of us will think someday we may have it pretty tough,” Juenemann said.
Justin had no idea what Kyle, and coach Fleck, had in store as thanks for his giving back.
Kyle launches a T-shirt at Justin. A solid catch. When he opens it…
“I saw my name first and then did a double take. The whole thing said ‘Justin, congrats on earning a scholarship,'” Juenemann said.
His tuition is paid for the year. The video then captures Justin sharing the news with his mom.
Though he’s never worn maroon and gold in a game, a heart of gold earned his Gopher pride.
“You’re sitting here looking at two examples of what our culture can do,” Coach Fleck says in the video.
“It will be something I won’t ever forget,” Juenemann said.
The original video of the surprise now has close to 400,000 views on Facebook. Justin has been getting tons of calls from family and friends.
He also got a special congratulations on social media from Eric Decker, a wide receiver for the Tennessee Titans, who was once a Gopher.