Former Gopher Blake Cashman honors Casey O'Brien with 'My Cause My Cleats' campaign

Casey O'Brien and Fleck embrace after O'Brien makes his Gophers debut on Saturday after battling cancer.

NFL players are using the “My Cause My Cleats” campaign to raise awareness with their game shoes for causes close to their heart, and it hits home for one former University of Minnesota football star.

Blake Cashman is now in his second season with the New York Jets, but he was once teammates with Casey O’Brien with the Gophers. O’Brien’s story is well-chronicled, a five-time cancer survivor who had his most recently battle near the end of last season.

Before that, O’Brien got the chance to fulfill his ultimate dream of playing in a Division I game with the Gophers. Minnesota beat Rutgers 42-13, and O’Brien was on the field to hold for three extra point attempts in the second half. All three were successful, after the first, O’Brien went straight to the sidelines to embrace Fleck.

Their moment was caught on cameras, and went viral on social media.

Cashman posted Maroon and Gold cleats on social on Wednesday, with the No. 14, O’Brien’s jersey number. He’s also bringing awareness to the One Four Fund, which raises money for Osteosarcoma research.

“It’s an honor to represent an elite man, friend, and teammate who has beaten this cancer 5 times. He truly is a beacon of light and hope for every person battling cancer,” Cashman said.