Mike Dudek suffered through two season-ending ACL tears. He missed the 2015 and 2016 football seasons and was eager for a return this season. So yeah, it was pretty awesome when he finally put the pads back on this fall.

It was a pretty special moment for his parents, too.

During Saturday night’s game against Western Kentucky, Dudek’s parents spoke with BTN about their son’s recovery and his return to the field in 2o17.

In Illinois season opener, Dudek caught the first touchdown pass of the season against Ball State.

It was a pretty awesome reward for a player who had missed so much time recovering from injuries.