A Husker Player's Biggest Fan Is His Inspiration

By: Jacki Ochoa Email
By: Jacki Ochoa Email

Most Husker fans have a favorite player. "He's been waiting forever to come and be able to watch Kenny play," Kim Hoog said. Sophomore Kenny Bell that is.

"Did he tell you he has always wanted an afro," Hoog said. "Ever since he was little." Hoog is talking about her son Tyler. He and Bell are cousins and grew up together.

"We've been together our entire lives, since he was born and I was three," Bell said.

For the first time this season, the two were reunited under the same roof. However, for Tyler, the journey to Memorial Stadium wasn't easy.

"He and his family go off-roading a lot," Bell said. Which is what they did just days after Hoog's birthday last year. "When the Jeep came back down, the roll cage, the roll bar, the speaker landed on top of my head," said Tyler. The accident left him paralyzed from the neck down. "I don't remember much from that point."

However, he never forgot about his cousin. "I actually spent last season watching Kenny play football from the hospital," said Tyler.

Tyler's mark is on Bell's wrist tape at just about every game. But his mark isn't just physical. "That stuff was just so cool to see how much something like this impacts him as much as it impacts me," said Tyler.

His mark is emotional, too. "What he goes through every day and how he approaches how he works to get better, it's really something that I can look up to doing football," Bell said.

The cousins didn't get to see each other at Saturday's game, but they did on Sunday. Bell says Hoog can move both his hands and toes somewhat now.

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