Ryan Veingrad faces a tough challenge as an incoming preferred walk-on at Michigan. But that’s nothing compared to what he’s overcome in the past.
Veingrad was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma early in 2015, and this was while he was rehabbing from season-ending micro-fracture surgery on his right knee. He underwent chemotherapy and fought his way back to football practice that spring after doctors cleared him.
“Overcoming those things definitely made my mind stronger and my mental side stronger,” Veingrad told MLive’s Matt Wenzel in an interview. “So I’m just ready for another challenge and an opportunity.”
Veingrad was a two-year captain at Spanish River Community High School in Boca Raton, Fla., and was an inspiration to his teammates. He was offered scholarships by FCS schools Elon and Wagner, but jumped at the chance when he was offered a preferred walk-on spot at Ann Arbor.
“I’m very excited to prove myself,” Veingrad said. “I just want to go there and try to compete with the best athletes they have there, see what I can do and see how I stack up against full-scholarship Division I athletes. I’ll find my way and I’m ready for the challenge.”
There have been quite a few Michigan walk-on success stories in the past, including Ryan Glasgow, who was just selected in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Veingrad hopes to follow in the shoes of his father, Alan, an NFL offensive lineman who won a Super Bowl in 1993.
One thing’s for sure: There isn’t a single person who won’t be rooting for him to hurdle over his newest obstacle to achieve his dream.
Blessed to say I've signed to The University of Michigan! Go Blue〽️ pic.twitter.com/TpwWX321J1
— ryan veingrad (@RVeingrad) February 1, 2017