David Wilganowski Signs with Rice University Despite Not Being Able to Play

By: Shane McAuliffe Email
By: Shane McAuliffe Email

It's the call David Wilganowski has been waiting his whole life for.

On the other end of the line, Rice University Head Coach David Bailiff and Defensive Line Coach Derrick Jackson welcomed Wilganowski to the team.

"It feels great after everything. It feels good to finally sign on the dotted line and make everything official," Wilganowski said.

It's a day that was in doubt after Wilganowski's heart stopped during a football game in September.

Doctors diagnosed him with Long QT Syndrome, implanted a cardiac defibrillator and ended his promising career on the football field. However, that didn't keep the folks at Rice from keeping their promise.

"It makes me feel really good to go to a place that really honors their commitment. I actually had calls from other schools that said if Rice didn't, then they would but Rice is the place for me," said Wilganowski.

Wilganowski won't play in a single game at Rice, but he will have a chance to participate on the practice field, as long as he keeps his heart rate under a certain level.

"During the practice, I'm going to be working with the defensive line and I'm still going to be part of the team, but I'm going to be a different part of the team," said Wilganowski.

For Wilganowski's parents, their son's incredible journey continues and they couldn't be happier.

"I'm really proud of my son and really happy that Rice honored his commitment. God bless Rice," said David's father, David Sr.

Wilganowski signed next to his teammate, lineman Dezmun Williams, who will play at Howard Payne University.

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