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Morning links: Utah Utes offensive lineman Nick Ford explains how his late brother helps drive his motivation for playing football

Utah center Nick Ford prepares to snap the ball during game against Washington State in Pullman, Wash., Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018.
FILE: Utah’s Nick Ford prepares to snap the ball during game against Washington State in Pullman, Wash., Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018.
Young Kwak, AP

In an article on UtahUtes.com, Utah offensive lineman Nick Ford detailed some of the reasons why he plays football. One of those reasons was his older brother, Michael, who tragically passed away. The final Utah game that Michael attended was Utah’s game against USC in 2017 in the L.A. Coliseum.

“It has definitely changed me. Growing up with my older brother Michael, I always tried to take care of him. It is family first, that is how I was raised. He was sick a lot. He wanted to play football, he loved football, but he couldn’t because of his health. His health was deteriorating.

He is a big reason why I play. I have learned so much from him. He loved football and he made me love the sport even more. He got to come to the USC game when we were there in 2017. He would watch every game, text me before every game. He made me never want to give up.

He was so selfless. I remember when I went back home earlier this year to see him before his surgery. I remember he was in a lot of pain. I always wanted to take care of him, but he recently passed. Now that he is gone, well it just sucks. Every morning and every night I pray and think about him. But he never wanted me to worry about him.

Even before his last surgery, he shook my hand and made sure I was OK. You could tell he was in pain, but he never once wanted you to worry about him. Every time I get hurt on the field, I picked up that trait from him, I don’t want people worrying about me.”

You can read the whole article here.

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