By Mark Haas
(CBS4) - "It's a great day to be an Oredigger," proclaimed School of Mines football coach Gregg Brandon. "To land a 5-star recruit, we beat Ohio State, USC, Notre Dame and Florida."
"Any time you sign a 5-star recruit it's a big deal," said Zach Peterson, a sophomore tight end at Mines. "He's 3-foot-11, 42 pounds. He's going to be a monster for us."
The 5-star recruit?
Scott McDermott, a 6-year-old from Northglenn who has cystic fibrosis.
Scott was "signed" as part of Team IMPACT, a program that pairs kids with life-threatening and chronic illnesses with college sports teams.
So why did Scott "sign" with the School of Mines?
"Because they are cool," said McDermott, who hasn't decided what position he will play. "Well I am pretty good at running, and I am also good at stealing the football. I can easily run past them and steal the football."
"He's a tremendous athlete, we don't know where we will play him," said Brandon. "He can play quarterback, running back wide receiver, he can sack the quarterback, he's got a master tool bag."
McDermott's signing is the fifth Team IMPACT match at the School of Mines, the football team following in the footsteps of the women's basketball team, men's and women's swimming and baseball teams.
"I thought it was a great idea," said Brandon, who added he witnessed the positive experience the women's basketball team has had with their Team IMPACT recruit.
"So we added Scotty, and I think it is great for him and our football team."
Peterson helped introduce Scott to the team at a special signing day ceremony on Feb. 1, this year's national signing day.
"I talked with some of the other sports programs that have kids, and one of the awesome things they said is they get just as much out of it as the kid," Peterson said. "So we jumped at the opportunity."
McDermott will now be part of the team and will attend practices and games.
Team IMPACT was founded in 2011, and according to their website, they have matched over 1,100 children with collegiate teams at over 450 institutions in 46 states.
The following information is from the Team IMPACT website:
The child joins the athletic team and the student athletes join the child's support team. The child gains great strength, camaraderie and support and the student athletes are taught lessons about courage, resiliency and life perspective that they can't learn in a classroom.
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