It has been more than two years since Devon Still wore a Penn State jersey, as he tackled his way to being the 2011 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.
Since then, he’s moved on to the NFL, playing for the Cincinnati Bengals. He has also moved onto some major, real-world problems, as his daughter Leah, 4, battles neuroblastoma.
At Penn State, he was part of a team, supporting each other on the field. Today, Penn Staters are showing their support for Still by pulling on his jersey number one more time.
At Family Clothesline, and online storefront www.pennstateclothes.com, a jersey-style T-shirt is on the racks for $19.99. While Still was part of the team at a time when names were never on the uniform, a special version has been crafted with his Penn State number, 71, his name and a special message, #sackcancer.
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“We partnered with Uplifting Athletes,” apparel buyer Caroline Gummo said. “We wanted to show support to him and his family. ... We rolled with it.”
Gummo said the shirt is receiving an “amazing response” in the store and online.
“There has been amazing support for Devon and his daughter, Leah, in her battle against cancer by Penn Staters, the State College community, the NFL and its teams and people worldwide,” Penn State athletic department spokesman Jeff Nelson said. “The sales of Devon’s jersey will continue to help in the fight against pediatric cancer.”
Andy Shay, director of external affairs and communications for Uplifting Athletes, said Still has been supportive of the project.
“He wanted to open something up for his Penn State family,” he said.
Proceeds from the sales go to support kids at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where Leah is receiving treatment.
“He wants to help the hospital and other families,” Shay said.
Still has been lucky enough to have a supportive employer in the Bengals, who initially cut him earlier this year, then moved him to the practice squad to allow him to keep his insurance for Leah’s care while still having time to devote to her.
He has since been returned to the active roster, taking the field Sunday night against the New England Patriots as that team’s cheerleaders wore his Cincinnati jersey in support of Leah’s battle.
McClanahan’s also has been in Still’s corner, selling a “ S71ll Strong” design.