Gophers holder Casey O’Brien got a standing ovation upon receiving the 2019 Disney Spirit Award during ESPN’s nationally televised college football awards show Thursday night in Atlanta.

The award, which O’Brien won in November but was presented to him Thursday, is given annually by Disney Sports to college football’s most inspirational player, coach, team or figure. O’Brien, who has overcome four bouts of cancer to play college football, made his Gophers debut this season.

His family and coach P.J. Fleck and Fleck’s wife, Heather, were in attendance. O’Brien has not been cleared to fly since having surgery recently so he made the 16-hour trip to the College Football Hall of Fame by car.

NEWS SERVICES