Huskers visit Lincoln hospitals for annual Thanksgiving week tradition

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Husker football players visited several hospitals on Wednesday morning, as part of the team’s annual Thanksgiving week tradition.

The Huskers greeted patients, took photos, and even signed autographs at Bryan Health and CHI Health St. Elizabeth.

Brody Belt, a junior wide receiver, said they look forward to meeting with Husker fans at the hospitals every year.

“It’s kinda been a Husker tradition to visit the hospitals and you know some of these guys are our biggest fans,” he said. “So, you know, it’s kind of our responsibility to give back to the community and we’re looking forward to it.”

Senior wide receiver Omar Manning said he felt good about seeing everyone at the hospitals.

“Just to be able to see all these faces and come in here and give them inspiration, cause they don’t even know how much inspiration they give us, you know, every week going into game days,” Manning said. “So being able to come in here and see their faces, put smiles on their faces, we’re giving back to them but at the same time they’re giving back to us too.”

Quarterback Casey Thompson said seeing people in the hospital made him feel grateful for what he has and appreciative of the fans’ loyalty.

“A lot of the fans and patients talked about how proud they are of us and just to keep fighting and pushing,” Thompson said. “You know we’re fighting to win another game and finish out this season, a lot of people in this hospital are fighting for their lives, and they still continue to show love and support. So I really appreciate the Husker community and fan base.”

Players also met with nurses and doctors and even visited the lab downstairs to learn what they do.

Stacia Hull, a PRN worker, said it was cool to see all of the players come in while she was working.

“It was a nice surprise,” she said. “It’s definitely a good rep for them and it’s nice for all the kids and adults who are having a hard time.”

The team said since taking over as interim head coach earlier this season, Mickey Joseph has helped to instill a sense of giving back to the community.

“You know, Mickey’s kind of a guy that likes to give back as well,” Belt said. “So, he kind of made a hard point about it and he really wants us to take this seriously.”

Thompson agreed, saying Joseph emphasized having an impact on Lincoln.

“As long as Mickey is a part of the program, and we have these great people in the athletic department, I know they’ll continue to push us to do stuff in the community,” he said.

The team said visiting everyone really helped them get excited for their last game against Iowa.

“We got one last game, so we’re just trying to go out with a bang and put on a show for everybody,” Manning said. “We’re going against Iowa, and that’s a rivalry, so we don’t like them, and they don’t like us. So, you know it’s gonna be a great game for the fans.”

The Huskers will be in Iowa City on Saturday for their final game of the season.

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