Wisconsin extended a helping hand to the Florida Atlantic football team when the latter was unable to return home due to Hurricane Irma after Saturday’s game, providing lodging, facilities and food. One FAU player wants to make sure everyone knows how grateful he is for the Badgers.
FAU star receiver DeAndre McNeal gave an interview Tuesday to Saturday Blitz’ Trevor Jossart, and didn’t hold back about Wisconsin’s hospitality.
“God is definitely clapping his hands and bragging on the Badgers for the hospitality they’ve given us. As soon as I heard what they were going to do for us I tweeted to them immediately. Words can’t explain how grateful we are for the Badgers, and the city of Madison, Wisc. From the bottom of our hearts we appreciate everything that Wisconsin has done for us.”
DeAndre McNeal on his gratitude for Wisconsin
McNeal said scoring a touchdown at Camp Randall Stadium was “breathtaking” and “a moment [he’ll] never forget.” He added he had “definitely enjoyed the scenery that the beautiful state of Wisconsin has to offer,” but there might be one feature in particular he’s enjoyed.
— The DeAndre McNeal (@DeAndreMcNeal3) September 12, 2017
Florida Atlantic coach Lane Kiffin echoed his player’s sentiment to NBC Sports’ John Taylor.
“They’re gone above and beyond. It hasn’t just been food. It hasn’t just been facilities. To let us use their meeting rooms, that’s kind of sacred sometimes for people. It’s been really neat.”
Lane Kiffin on Wisconsin’s generosity
Overall, Wisconsin’s hosting of Florida Atlantic has been a good show from the Badgers during a week of turmoil for the state of Florida. Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez went through the process of how the set-up came about and how the Owls have taken to Madison in a letter released Wednesday.
Per the letter, Alvarez made the offer to host FAU indefinitely when the program started looking to see if moving or cancelling the game would be possible. Soon, the Owls and the families of the coaching staff were on one of the last flights out of Florida. Wisconsin staff connected with their FAU counterparts (e.g. equipment managers working with equipment managers). The reached the point that Wisconsin coaches’ wives hosted a tailgate for the FAU coaches’ wives.
After the game, the FAU players worked out in the Wisconsin weight room on Sunday and practiced at Camp Randall on Monday and Tuesday. They’ll soon head home, but they haven’t stopped thanking the Badgers.
— FAU Football (@FAU_Football) September 12, 2017