Jace Malek is fighting all odds to get on the gridiron, and that includes chemotherapy.
Last week, Malek signed his Letter of Intent after Vandals head coach Paul Petrino encouraged him to, despite revealing his illness to the coach.
The cancer was first revealed to Malek after he was hit during a game and was left with a bad pain in his right hip. An MRI later revealed that Jace had a large tumor concentrated in the hip. Facing the possibility of not being able to play, Malek called the team he had given an oral commitment to in the fall. Petrino showed his support by telling him to sign the Letter of Intent, then followed it up by sending a Vandals jersey to the young man.
For Idaho, Petrino's actions speak louder off the field than on. By persuading Malek to sign, despite the very real possibility that he might not play, Petrino has created loyalty among his players, showing his dedication to them. For the Vandals, that dedication to the players shows that off-the-field character might be just as important, if not more important than on-the-field play.
For Malek, by knowing and understanding his situation, he has decided that he might want to become a coach, and this life experience should help him achieving that goal to the best of his ability.