WATCH: Gophers kicker gets surprise scholarship via t-shirt gun, teammates go crazy
Gophers football coach P. J. Fleck didn’t just casually tell senior backup kicker Justin Juenemann that he’d earned a scholarship. Instead, he delivered the message with an air cannon.
Fleck released a video of the announcement on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon. By evening, the unique delivery had flooded the internet and was shared by ESPN’s SportsCenter and other national outlets.
— P.J. Fleck (@Coach_Fleck) August 9, 2017
Fleck introduced a Gophers fan named Kyle, who is a patient at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, into a team meeting and asked him who his favorite player was. Kyle said it was Juenemann, because he would visit the hospital frequently.
Fleck then offered his T-shirt-loaded air cannon to Kyle and told him to shoot it at his favorite player.
Once Juenemann got the shirt, he opened it and it read: “Justin, congrats on earning a scholarship!” His teammates exploded into cheers.
“I’ve never seen anybody serve and give more than that guy, who is not a star player,” Fleck said in the video. “He could easily just not do it and nobody would ever say anything. You’re sitting here looking at two examples of what our culture can do: … what other people can do for us and what we can do for them. It’s very powerful.”
Juenemann, 23 is a fifth-year senior backing up all-Big Ten kicker Emmit Carpenter and has never appeared in a Gophers game in his career.
“Than you Coach Fleck, Kyle, and everyone who was involved in setting this up. This was truly an experience I will never forget!” tweeted Juenemann, a Phillipsburg, Kansas native studying human resources and industrial relations.
Earlier this year, Gophers linebacker Blake Cashman learned he had been awarded a scholarship during a team Easter egg hunt.