Casey O’Brien is not your typical redshirt sophomore placeholder.

A cancer survivor, he was first diagnosed with bone cancer at age 13. Overcoming the illnesses and treatments, he was able to walk-on to P.J. Fleck’s program at Minnesota.

O’Brien’s story of success and perseverance caught the attention of the state’s National Football League team, the Minnesota Vikings.

Getting to serve as an honorary captain for the coin toss prior to Sunday’s game with the Philadelphia Eagles at U.S. Bank Stadium, Minnesota football shared the moment on Twitter:

On behalf of Big Ten football players, O’Brien delivered a speech at the Big Ten Football Kickoff Luncheon in Chicago in July.

Defeating the Adrian Martinez-less Nebraska Cornhuskers, 34-7, on October 12, the Gophers moved to 6-0 on the season. Ranked No. 20 in the latest Associated Press Poll, Minnesota travels to Piscataway to face Rutgers (1-5) on Saturday (3:30PM ET, BTN).