Nick Connelly, retired from Gophers football because of concussions, now battling cancer

Connelly started five games as a redshirt sophomore in 2017.
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Nick Connelly

Former Golden Gophers offensive lineman Nick Connelly was recently diagnosed with cancer. 

His father, Chuck Connelly, made the announcement on Twitter this week, saying his son could use a "miracle touch" as he battles Burkitt's lymphoma, a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. 

"I just want to make sure everybody knows, from our family to theirs, from our football family, our university, our state, we're rolling with Nick," said Gophers coach P.J. Fleck on Tuesday. "Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family as he continues to fight." 

Fleck added that Connelly has "incredible resolve" and has a lot of teammates "praying for him and supporting him." 

Connelly played for the Gophers as a redshirt sophomore last season before a fifth concussion and third in two years forced him to stop playing football. 

He started five games in 2017 before a concussion against Purdue ended his season and playing career. 

Connelly was an All-State lineman for Red Wing High School before committing to the University of Minnesota. 

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