The Willistonian, Est. 1881

Heisman Runner Up Pursues Stem Cell Science

Stanford+Cardinal+Logo.+Credit%3A+Wikimedia+Commons.
Stanford Cardinal Logo. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Stanford Cardinal Logo. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Stanford Cardinal Logo. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

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Although the Heisman Trophy runner-up did not win, Stanford’s football star Bryce Love is on his way to both athletic and academic success.

The junior running back is studying to become a stem cell scientist while also proving his prowess on the field, showing he could potentially become a NFL running back.

Love always had a dream of making the NFL, but he decided to pursue a second dream of becoming a pediatrician when he was younger and came down with pneumonia. He was not in any serious danger, but this experience opened his eyes to a new profession.

“The doctors helped him with medication but also with empathy, and Love decided then that he wanted to be a pediatrician,” said CNN. Stanford students are allowed to customize their course work. Stanford football center, Jesse Burkett, for example, designed a double major in Japanese and symbolic systems. Love decided to major in human biology.

Love keeps himself private in the lab by not letting his football fame become known. Some people in his class do not even know that he is the star running back for the  team.

For a few days a week during the season and on weekdays during the summer, Love works in the laboratory of Michael Longaker, a surgeon who studies how stem cells might be used to help patients heal without scarring. Love does some work to help out Ph.D. candidates, medical students and doctors who may or may not even follow football.

“He’s learned a lot of fundamental cell biology, how you work with animals, how you grow cells, how you analyze wounds,” Longaker told Bleacher Report.

Longaker added, “The shocking thing to me is over half to two-thirds of the lab just know him as Bryce Love, undergraduate. They have no idea that he’s one of the leading candidates for the Heisman. And I think that’s what he likes.”

While there are many stereotypes against athletes and their academic capabilities, Love and other athletes are proving wrong all those who think athletes have it easier than normal students.

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman told The Huffington Post, “I would love for a regular student to have a student-athlete’s schedule during the season for just one quarter or one semester and show me how you’ll balance that.”

College athletes are constantly busy with sports and schoolwork and a lot of the time it can be difficult to fit everything in; however, Love is a key example and representation of what it means to be a student-athlete.

Mason Balch ’18 is headed to Bryant University next year for lacrosse. He told The Willistonian, “Playing college sports is a great opportunity for student-athletes who are trying to get a good education while playing the game they love.”

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Heisman Runner Up Pursues Stem Cell Science