To my Eastern Washington family:
I want to thank my Eastern Washington coaches, trainers, teammates, fellow students, teachers and fans for their support over the past four years.
The last four years have been the best of my life and I am so thankful to Eastern Washington for giving me this opportunity.
Before my senior year of high school, I tore my anterior cruciate ligament in a summer football camp at the University of Colorado. At that point, I was being recruited by several BCS teams, but everyone stopped calling after I got hurt. Eastern Washington was one of the only schools to offer me a scholarship, and I am so thankful they did. I truly believe that my knee injury happened for a reason, and that reason was so I could go to Eastern Washington.
Deciding to leave school early was not an easy decision and not one that I took lightly. It was an extremely long process, and I spent several weeks talking it over with my close friends and family. In the end, I decided that I was ready for the challenge of competing against the best athletes in the world in the NFL.
Regardless of where I end up, I will always be an Eastern Washington Eagle and Cheney will always have a special place in my heart. Eastern Washington has given me so much over the last four years: some of my best friends, an education, a national championship and most importantly, a fiancée. Because of this, I am eternally grateful to Eastern Washington for taking a chance on me.
I also want to thank the training staff, and specifically Kacey Hoob, Brian Norton, and Nate Brookerson for helping me with all of my rehabilitation and helping me get to where I am today. A special thanks to Coach Baldwin, Coach Adams and Coach Sawyer for their mentoring and guidance over the past four years. I appreciate you three going above and beyond your duties as coaches to help me through some of my most difficult times. Your advice has been invaluable and has helped mold me into the player and man I am today.
Finally, I want to thank all of my teammates over the past four years. You guys are my best friends and we have gone through so many highs and lows together. We ran out of time in our last game against Sam Houston State, but I fully expect you guys to repeat as Big Sky Conference champions and to finish the job we started by winning a national championship.
Brandon Kaufman, #1