The NFL Combine can get a bit repetitive, but this year Penn State defensive end Garrett Sickels is trying to make those reps count for more than just his draft stock.
Sickels has created a Pledge It account that is raising money for rare disease research through Uplifting Athletes, which is a nonprofit organization that helps support and inspire the rare disease community through a network of chapters run by college football student-athletes (you can read more about Uplifting Athletes at their linked website).
Here is what Sickels said about the cause on his Pledge It page:
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!
Sickels’ goal is to raise $5,000, which would amount to $250 per rep, based on a 20-bench estimate.
Sickels is one of two Penn State football players attending this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, along with wide receiver Chris Godwin. Sickels played three seasons for the Nittany Lions, totaling 94 total tackles and 11.5 sacks. During his junior season in 2016, Godwin had 47 tackles and 6.5 sacks.