Penn State DL Garrett Sickels wanted a big day at the NFL Combine so he could impress the teams watching. But he also wanted to help others.
Sickels announced last month that he would be using his bench press reps to raise money for rare disease research. On Sunday, with his 20 reps, he helped raise more than he targeted. Sickels hoped to raise $200 per rep — he ended up raising $347.65 per rep. That’s $6,953.
From Sickels’ page at Pledge It:
As I take the next step toward my NFL dream, I have made an important decision to use my performance at the NFL Combine to support Uplifting Athletes and their mission to inspire the rare disease community with hope through the power of sport, and empower medical researchers to find cures.
I was honored to be an Uplifting Athletes Letterman and part of the leadership team for the Penn State Chapter. I participated in Lift for Life every summer that I was on campus. This was a very important part of my PSU life and experience, and that is why I’ve chosen to launch my Reps for Research campaign for Uplifting Athletes in support of the rare disease community.
Fans and supporters can pledge for every bench press rep that I perform at the combine. Please join my team by making a pledge today!
Penn State DL Garrett Sickels
There is still time to help join the fight against rare disease! https://t.co/bvF6hM6tLa
— Garrett Sickels (@Sickels_90) February 24, 2017
Sickels also was clocked in 4.90 seconds in the 40-yard dash on Sunday. On January 4, Sickels declared early for the 2017 NFL Draft.
During the 2016 season, Sickels posted 47 total tackles. He also had 12.5 tackles for loss and 6 sacks as the Nittany Lions went 11-3 and won the Big Ten Championship Game. Though Penn State lost to USC in the Rose Bowl, the Nittany Lions finished ranked in the top 10 of both the AP and coaches polls.