Nebraska assistant coach Jovan Dewitt has had an influence on thousands of kids during his coaching career, but it’s now those players, current and former, who are making an impact on him.

Dewitt was recently diagnosed with throat cancer, forcing the longtime assistant to miss some of the Huskers’ early spring practices. The prognosis is promising, but Dewitt still has to undergo major changes while battling the disease.

Hearing from some of those current and former players has already had a huge affect on Dewitt.

“My guys call me pretty much every day to check on me,” Dewitt said in a video captured by Megan McGill of the Omaha World-Herald. “When your former players call you, you know you’ve done some good things, because those kids call me every single day to make sure I’m doing all right and I’m hanging out OK. It’s been really good. My guys help me out a lot.”

Dewitt is the outside linebackers coach and special teams coach with Nebraska, coming with Scott Frost from UCF. He’s also had stops at Army, Florida Atlantic and Northern Iowa.

Despite the diagnosis, Dewitt has still appeared at four of the five spring practices the Huskers have held this season. Getting away from the house and being around his players on the field helps bring a sense of normalcy to his life.

And having some normalcy is important for Dewitt, saying he now has a feeding tube and has dropped around 45 pounds since beginning treatment. But he says he’s expected to complete treatments by April and hopes to be ready for the fall.

To watch the full video of Dewitt meeting with the media, you can visit the Omaha World-Herald.