The Kentucky football team dedicated Saturday’s win over Mississippi State to Chris Oats, a veteran teammate who was hospitalized back in May with a very serious medical issue away from football. Oats spent the last several months in a rehabilitation facility, but returned home to his family this weekend to continue his long recovery toward normal life.
Since losing Oats from football, the Wildcats have taken on the ’22 Strong’ mantra this season, and in Saturday’s game the guy starting in Oats’ place at middle linebacker, Jamin Davis, intercepted a pass in the end zone while wearing Oats’ No. 22 jersey as a tribute.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) October 11, 2020
Prior to taking the field, Davis tweeted a video of Oats with the #22Strong hashtag:
— Jamin Davis (@jamindavis25) October 10, 2020
After the game, Davis explained, “It was very emotional all day thinking about him.”
Adding to the tribute to Oats, in somewhat of a storybook ending, Kentucky won the game, 24-2… a 22-point margin of victory.
Head coach Mark Stoops said, “It was really important to us. We did just dedicate that game ball to Chris and we’re going to bring it up to him tomorrow so it was important for us to play well and inspire Chris to continue with his rehab.”
“If i could just say thank you,” Stoops continued, “I haven’t talked about it since the opening of the GoFundMe. Just greatly appreciate the BBN. It doesn’t surprise me that you’ve supported that so well, and his family.”
The GoFundMe for Oats and his family is over $26,000. Click here to keep that number climbing.