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Andrew Gachkar
Missouri
Nominated by Gary Pinkel
Senior  

Andrew overcame a potentially life-threatening physical setback to be where he is today, and he literally gave up a rib in order to continue to play football.

After his freshman year at Mizzou, he was stricken with blood clots. Thankfully the condition was diagnosed properly, though it left him two options: quit football or have surgery to remove a rib that was blocking blood flow to an area in his chest. Because of his love for the game of football and his teammates, Andrew chose surgery. During recovery, Andrew lost over 30 pounds and faced many moments that made him question whether he would ever be able to play football again.

Andrew showed an amazing work ethic and determination to get himself back into shape, and he didn’t miss a game during his sophomore year as he played a significant role on special teams and as a backup linebacker. By his junior year he was starting on defense and is now the undisputed leader on Mizzou’s nationally ranked defense.

In addition to his physical and team accomplishments, Andrew takes part in numerous team activities that benefit the local Boys & Girls Club, the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Foundation, the local children’s Hospital and many other activities throughout the year to give back to the community.