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Oregon WR Dane Ebanez Got to Play in the Fiesta Bowl Because His Teammate Faked an Injury
In college football, all the attention and glory goes to the big name players bound for the NFL and the superstar coaches making millions of dollars each season. However, the fact is that without the role players the game would be nothing. After all, not even mighty Alabama can fill a whole roster with guys who will get drafted.
Fortunately, there are people in the game today that appreciate this fact. And one of them is Oregon Ducks sophomore receiver Keanon Lowe.
During Oregon’s dominating performance against K-State in the Fiesta Bowl last week, Lowe did something pretty special: he faked an injury so a walk-on senior could get the opportunity to take one snap in a BCS Bowl game.
The player? Wide receiver Dane Ebanez.
Ebanez wasn’t recruited to play football at Oregon. The 5’9″ native of North Pole, Alaska, made the team out of the blue in 2009, and since then he’s racked up about $70,000 in student loans while busting his butt alongside guys who don’t pay a dime for the education they barely even care about.
Maybe that’s why Lowe pretended that he had an injury right before an Oregon kickoff in the 4th quarter. Or maybe Lowe did it because Ebanez is, by all accounts, a really great guy and teammate. But ultimately, the reason why Lowe did it isn’t really all that important. What is important is that Ebanez can tell his kids one day that he got to play in a bowl game.
So was Ducks coach Chip Kelly mad about being deceived? Hardly. He told The Oregonian, “There was something about (Ebanez) from that workout in 2009. I don’t know what it was, but he’s a perfect example of the meritocracy of college football. Those who work hard can make it here.”
I’m not sure about the meritocracy part, but it’s definitely a great story.
Hat Tip – [Dr. Saturday]