Drew Clarkson's last 11 months: Beat cancer, sign D-I scholarship
FEB 05, 2014 12:15p ET
Here’s how the last 11 months began for Drew Clarkson.
In March 2013, the offensive lineman felt pain his right testicle. After a week of trying to convince himself he was OK, he went to a doctor. The doctor told him it was nothing. Clarkson asked the doctor to check again.
An ultrasound revealed, yes, something was wrong: Clarkson had Stage 2 testicular cancer.
Immediate surgery was followed by four rounds of chemotherapy. The pain was intense, the medicine made him sick and he wondered if he’d be able to play his senior football season at Camas High School in Camas, Wash.
Maybe, if the illness didn’t eat away his 6-foot-3 and 275-pound body, college football would still be in his future, but it was too early and too hard to say.
Clarkson buckled in for his chemo treatments, vowing that he’d continue to work while sick, continue to push his body and mind to the place he’d always wanted to go – to Division I college football. Who knows -- maybe that would work?
Wednesday morning, Oregon State head coach Mike Riley tweeted this:
Yes, Drew Clarkson is healthy and officially an Oregon State Beaver. He received that scholarship offer last summer while he was sitting in a doctor’s chair receiving chemo treatment.
Clarkson made it back to Camas for his senior season and was a captain on the team that went to the Washington 4A state championship game. The three-star recruit also had offers from Cal, Washington, Washington State, Eastern Washington and Northern Colorado.
For all the funkiness of National Signing Day – like a kid using a live tree and nerd glasses to commit to Stanford – human stories like Clarkson’s are part of it, too.
To read more about Clarkson’s story and his fight through cancer, I’ll direct you to Paul Valencia’s story from last August in The Columbian. It’s a great story.
Clarkson has also started a website to help inform young men of testicular cancer, which you can find here.
Teddy Mitrosilis writes and edits college football for FOXSports.com. Follow him on Twitter and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.