Hoke offers OSU-Michigan tickets to boy who named his cancer 'Michigan'
Having grown up in Ohio as a Wolverine fan, Brady Hoke knows plenty about the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry.
He has proven that many times in the two-plus years since he took over as head coach of the Wolverines, whether it was by tweaking Buckeye fans (and some at at least one other school in the state) by referring to the school in Columbus as "Ohio" or by going after top Buckeye State recruits from his home state who might otherwise have been wearing scarlet and gray.
But his latest addition to the rivalry might go down as his best, and that is something on which fans on both sides of the border can probably agree.
According to a report from NBC4 in Columbus, Hoke recently called 12-year-old Grant Reed of Bellville, Ohio, to offer the boy and his family four tickets to the next edition of the Ohio State-Michigan game, scheduled for Nov. 30 in Ann Arbor.
But Hoke was not trying to get an early leg (OK, very early) up in the recruitment of one of the next potential Ohio high school football stars. No, he was merely reaching out to a family that has been through a tough ordeal and caught up the attention of the college football world in the process.
Young Grant, you may remember, is the boy who named his cancer tumor "Michigan" then went on to win a battle more important than any of the 100-plus the Buckeyes and Wolverines have played on the football field as he finished chemotherapy treatments earlier this month.
"It's getting hard to keep my dislike for them, because they've been so classy and unbelievable to us." Grant's father, Troy Reed, told NBC 4's Jarrod Smalley of his favorite team's archrivals. "But it won't be hard to cheer for the Buckeyes in November."
Mr. Reed added that Hoke spoke with his son on the phone and offered words of encouragement along with the tickets to the game at Michigan Stadium.
"He gave a very clear yes," Reed said. "He's very excited."