Marian High School grad Reilly Jeffers has been named the starting long snapper at Kansas as a walk-on freshman by Jayhawks head coach Charlie Weis.
It's been a remarkable journey for Reilly and his family.
Two years ago, Reilly was on the sidelines for Marian football games on crutches--watching his teammates play.
Jeffers was in a serious car crash a month before the season started and was out for the entire 2010 season. At the time, there was fear that the injuries to his leg were so so severe he wouldn't be able to play football ever again.
As if this wasn't already a trying time for Reilly, his dad--WNDU Sports Director Jeff Jeffers---then had a stroke just a month after Reilly's accident.
Both father and son would each go through a grueling recovery phase at the same time, each leaning on the other to get healthy.
The day eventually came when Reilly was able to walk without crutches, Jeff was out of the hospital and Jeff was able to get back on the air at WNDU.
Then came Reilly's redemption. He was able to play football again.
Reilly became a starter on the offensive line and a team leader for Marian, helping to lead the Knights to one of their best seasons in a decade.
When Charlie Weis was hired as the head coach at Kansas, Reilly was given the opportunity to be a walk-on for the Jayhawks program.
But this---he never anticipated.
Jeffers began fall camp as a backup at long snapper and assisted on special teams.
On Saturday, Weis announced that projected starting long snapper Justin Carnes was suspended for the first three games of the season due to a violation of teams rules. And on Tuesday, Weis named Reilly the new starting longsnapper. Go figure.
When Jeffers takes the field as a walkon freshman starter on Saturday in the Jayhawks home opener against South Dakota State, his dad won't be there. Jeff will be doing his job as the sideline reporter for Notre Dame football games for the national radio broadcast. Of course, that job happens to take Jeff all the way to Dublin, Ireland in week one. That means he will be a whopping 4,108 miles away from his son.
That's ok. The journey Reilly and Jeff have been on for the last two years was a lot longer and yet, they've never been as close.