Oct. 5, 2009
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- While the University of Michigan football team has raced out to a 4-1 record in 2009, the story of redshirt freshman offensive lineman Elliott Mealer's (Wauseon, Ohio/Wauseon HS) journey is even more impressive. E:60 will air a feature on Mealer Tuesday (Oct. 6) at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
A tragic car accident on Christmas Eve 2007 turned Mealer's world upside down just as he was about to embark on a college football career. His father, David, and his girlfriend, Hollis Richer, were killed, and his older brother Brock was paralyzed. Mealer tore the rotator cuff in his right shoulder while desperately trying to rescue his brother.
E:60's Lisa Salters reports how after the tragedy, Elliott needed to heal not only physically but emotionally. He found comfort at the home of his girlfriend's family and inspiration from his brother, who was fighting to walk again. Elliott also found a new family at the University of Michigan, where head coach Rich Rodriguez supported him as he redshirted his freshman season.
Mealer made his college football debut in the home opener vs. Western Michigan on Sept. 5. With his entire family and the Richers in attendance, Elliott ran onto the field honoring his father and his girlfriend. It was a joyous occasion after almost two years of unimaginable grief.
Mealer has played in all five games for the Wolverines.
ESPN Promo Video
Brock Mealer Video, U-M Department of Physical Medicine (click on Spirit of a Champion video on right side)
Contact: David Ablauf (734) 763-4423