This story originally appeared in the student newspaper Xchange, and was written by Candy Hernandez.
From playing football from the age of five to playing a future role in Nebraska’s very own football team, senior Chris Cassidy’s hard work has finally paid off with a walk-on offer from the Huskers
Hard work and dedication have proven to be two of the most important things to Cassidy, on and off the field.
“Starting off freshman and sophomore year, I looked up to good examples and thanks to them I realized that hard work had to come,” Cassidy said. “I knew I had to make a commitment to the team as well to focus more on the Pius X community, and not just focusing on myself.”
Playing football was always a big part of Cassidy’s life, starting flag football at the age of three and even playing all four years at Pius X.
Cassidy explained that playing as a linebacker and running back for the Thunderbolts has helped shape him into the player he is today.
“The coaches always wanted us to become better, not in just football but in life and that has made me the person I am today,” Cassidy stated. “Even praying the ‘Our Father’ before each game meant a little bit more to me and to the team, with sharing the same faith. Pius has prepared me for college so much on the field and in the classroom. And I owe a lot of my success in football to my teachers and my coaches.”
Finally having committed to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has taken some weight off Cassidy’s shoulders, but he will continue to do his best to reach and achieve his goals. His family, friends and coaches are also excited to see what is to come from his time at UNL.
“I think Chris is just going to be himself. He’s going to be that hardworking guy; he’s going to work hard in the weight room, work hard training, work hard on the field. He’s going to do what the coaches ask him to do, whatever that is,” football coach Ryan Kearney said. “He’s going to play his role and be a great teammate. That’s what I expect of him and that’s what I am excited to see.”
Joining the Huskers as a walk-on serves as motivation for Cassidy.
“Being a walk-on at UNL fits my mentality of hard work and from going into college and starting off at the bottom and working to get to the top to become a starter.” Cassidy claimed.
Cassidy plans on redshirting and starting his football career as either a linebacker or fullback his sophomore year of college.
He plans on using his freshman year to get ahold of his life and to plan for his future. He hopes to major in criminology and become a detective.
“I am excited to start working a bit with Scott Frost,” Cassidy stated. “Ninety percent of my recruitment was with Coach Riley but within a week I have had more communication time with Coach Frost, so I like him because you can tell he cares about his players.”
Cassidy finds inspiration in a few things, but he is most inspired by his favorite quote from Emmitt Smith, “All men are created equal, some just work harder in preseason.”
Cassidy shared that his mother had taught him to go by those words and live his life to the fullest and be a hard worker because nothing came easy, effort is necessary.
“Chris is a very self-motivated, hardworking young man. He’s very respectful and good athlete. He was like a lot of the kids we have; a joy to coach and to be around,” Kearney commented. “I think that they saw the same thing that we see. It comes across very quickly that Chris is a dedicated young man who likes to work hard and wants to do what’s best for the team. Coaches really like that, and I think that’s one of the things they saw in him.”
Once starting at UNL, Cassidy prays he will keep his faith, family and friends close and hopes for nothing but success on and off the field and will continue to prove to the world and to himself that anything is possible if work is applied.