Sam Ehlinger Honors Late Father on Texas Football Field | The Players’ Tribune

There’s Daddy! All right, say, “Texas Fight!” – Texas Fight! Hi, Daddy. – Texas football was kinda the connecting point for my family. It was something that we were always looking forward to, we
could always talk about. And every weekend it
was what we were doing together as a family. – There was no way we were missing a game. There’s two things we’re gonna do, and that is we’re gonna
go to Texas football games and we’re gonna go to church. – Yeah! – Yeah! How’s it go? – ♪ The eyes of Texas are upon you, ♪ ♪ All the live long day ♪ – They’re getting lots of kisses. – He was always very positive,
very outgoing, very fun. He definitely taught me everything that I knew about the game. – O.K., break! Go, go, go, go, one,
two, three, turn around. – He had been training for Alcatraz. He had done it like five years before. And he loved it. They always hugged goodbye
every day before school. And I remember that morning
was one of those mornings where I was rushing to get them to school ’cause we were flying out later that day. And, thank God, Ross did
his normal and came out and was like, “Hey, I didn’t get my hug.” They all got to give him
that one big last hug. That morning was just
the typical race morning. He got up early, he left early. And then I got the phone call. They just said, “We’re having a hard time getting him to breathe
and you need to get here.” But then when I got there, I knew. I could tell just by the
looks on their faces. I came home, I walked in the backdoor and Sam was standing
right by the backdoor. And he knew the minute he saw my face. Hearing his cry … It’s a cry that no parent wants to hear out of their children, ever. – Thirty minutes after
I had heard the news and my whole family was
together at the house. Something … I think God just told me, “Your little brother’s
sitting right next to you, and you’re thinking about
how bad you’re hurting. Think about how bad he’s
hurting and help him.” And so then, from that point on, it was just kinda, my role switched. It wasn’t, “What can I do
for myself to feel better?” It was, “What can I do
for my family to make them feel better?” – I kinda came into his life maybe six to eight months after that. Sam had to grow up a lot. He was unbelievable as far
as support of his mother. Support of his little brother,
support of his little sister. There was a maturity that had to come, whether he wanted it to or not. – The way I felt, by
taking care of my family, I think that that carried over
into how I lead on the field. – He would take over
practices, even as a sophomore, where if things weren’t going right, it didn’t set real well with him. When one of your most
physically tough players is at the quarterback position, that just permeates
throughout your entire roster. – I just think he plays
to honor his father. – [Announcer] From the
goal line, touchdown Texas! Sam Ehlinger, he’ll hurdle. Touchdown Texas. In for the score. What a run by Sam Ehlinger. – [Announcer] The Texas
Longhorns march into New Orleans on the back and arm of Sam Ehlinger. And Ehlinger runs it in, touchdown Texas! – [Announcer] It’s going
to be a 10-win season for the first time since 2009. – The emotion that we
both felt in that moment was just from understanding
what we’ve been through and understanding the pain
that we’ve been through. And then being able to
experience such happiness through the University of Texas. It was a special moment for me. – There is almost an unspoken language for us, when we all know we’re
thinking about Ross. Sometimes even in the
happiest moments of our lives, we’re just a little bit
sad because he’s not here. – For me, growing up being a
huge fan, playing quarterback, and then being a leader inside my family – just to be able to put
all those parts together and actually be able to
accomplish that and be here, be on the football team, it’s unreal. I can’t put it to words, honestly. – On three. One, two, three! – [Jena] Yay! O.K, say bye-bye!

67 thoughts on “Sam Ehlinger Honors Late Father on Texas Football Field | The Players’ Tribune

  1. I grew up with burnt orange in my blood. As a child I had the privilege of spending time on the field before and after games. My father volunteered at the stadium so we could watch the games. My little brother and I would pretend the whole stadium was already filled up and we would throw passes and make fake crowd noise after a good catch. I met legends like Earl Campbell and others on the field after games. It was amazing to see the program up close. I dreamed of one day attending UT. I was told by my counselor that I was not UT material and that I should pursue trade school. I tried harder in school and raised my grades. I had no school support so I went to UT myself and met with Admissions. I was accepted and graduated in 1994. As a father of two amazing girls and a lifelong UT fan I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a son who loved UT like I do. That never happened. So when I started following Sam’s amazing journey I felt as if I had an honorary son who made me proud by keeping God first, taking care of his family, honoring his mother and father, and bleeding burnt orange for the good of the cause. Whether he leads the team to a National Championship or not, he has brought the fire and heart back to Texas. Everything else is icing on the cake! I ask the Lord to protect and guide Sam and the team/staff this year so that all of their hearts are are on fire for righteousness and for our great university! Play with grit, character, and the confidence that we are with you on the field in Spirit, those of us who are alive and those of us that are in Heaven. God bless!

  2. Sam looked great last year except for those 4 losses!! Good thing ya'll didn't play the Maryland twerps this year!!
    Hope he doesn't blow it against lsu!! They will be ready 2 play unlike the sugar bowl! & that wasn't a touchdown!

  3. He is everything that’s good about family. The sacrifices and love that fights thru even the hardest of times. It’s not hard to cheer for young people like Sam. Win or not son, proud of you and it’s an honor to cheer you on. Go have fun and Hook’em. You’ve already won.

  4. As a sooner fan what a strong kid! We dont hate you sam an to be honest i dont think baker does either! I think he was hurt that texas never offered him! I couldnt imagine losing a parent at that age! God plan is always perfect though! Boomer

  5. Texas has always had good dudes in their program.. From Mack Brown to Colt McCoy to Sam Ehlinger
    Sooner fan here but I'm cheering you on Sam.

  6. I’m not even a Texas fan and this touched me so hard… I used to not like the Texas Longhorns but now I have full respect for Texas and I will support this guy…. Good luck vs LSU!

  7. Sam just keep your eyes on the big picture and the rest will follow. Every game brings you closer to making the Baker Mayfields and that hillbilly Hick eat crow.
    All it does is that it makes each win a little bit sweeter for you and a little
    Sourer fr them.

  8. Sam you understood all those lessons your Dad was trying to teach you early on in life. You honor both your parents with heart and soul. Life will judge you by the number of times you don't get back up not how many you get knocked down. You're what parents dream about their children becoming and there is so much of your life in front of you.

  9. I graduated from Texas Tech then went to Texas A&M for DVM. My wife was a longhorn, she had more influence on my 2 daughters than I did so they both graduated from UT. I became a super Longhorn fan! I loved watching Vince Young then Colt McCoy. UT fans went about 10 years as a mediocre team! Now with Sam Ellinger hope has returned, great young man!

  10. Mad props from NYC! "The two most important days of your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why" Mark Twain

  11. I love Sam on and off the field! Great guy ! This game we call life is not about the field. I wish I could teach my daughter these same lessons. Robbed of that .

  12. This young man has a remarkable story. How could anyone not appreciate him, all he's done and all he's been through.

  13. To those 23 thumbs down, I say…the eyes of Texas are upon you throwing this in your face…??, If you've never lost a parent at a young age, it's not easy, I lost my mom my senior year and I still think about her daily, and that was in 96, Sam keep doing what you're doing, Proverbs 3:5-6, your dad is smiling down on you on and off the field!!

  14. Your dad will be so proud of you Sam makes me wanna cry in emotional tears that your dad is not around with you and your Family, but he is with and God watching you play.

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