Kody Kasey humbly goes about his business and many across the football community are taking notice. The Georgetown College senior has faced adversities many cannot fathom, but it has never dampened his spirit or stolen his purpose. His passion to help others with a servant heart is why he was named Monday to the 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team nominee list. Voting is in the process and the final team will be announced mid-September. Kasey would be Georgetown’s first honoree for the highly prestigious off-the- field honor that recognizes those with the dedication to volunteer and enrich others’ lives. Allstate and the AFCA have been giving out this award since 1992.
He is one of 146 nominees through all college sport divisions and one of 70 in the classification of FCS, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA.
Kasey’s mission is to be a blessing through the gifts he has received from God. Many might question a vital, healthy, joyful young man having to decide to amputate his leg after a football injury. The Ohio native never did.
“I know through Him I can do all things. Look at how He has used me in all of this,” Kasey said. “My outreach was my teammates, coaches, friends and maybe some opposing players and coaches.
“Now doors are opening to speak with all ages and all abilities – athletes or not. I’m being invited to churches and to camps, they all want to hear my story which is more about what God is doing and can do for all of us than about me making the difficult decision to be an amputee before turning 21.”
Kasey was having a solid sophomore season for the Georgetown College Tigers when during a routine punt play, he locked up his opponent and felt his right leg give way. He broke several bones and was immediately rushed to the hospital. Routine surgery to place rods and repair the breaks occurred and it all seemed to be normal.
However, Kasey experienced gut wrenching pain as he went through the healing process and multiple surgeries followed to try and help. A year filled with nine operations had the doctors come to the realization that his bones were more than likely not going to heal properly.
“They told me they would keep working on it and do everything they could or I could chose to amputate it,” Kasey said. “It wasn’t easy to hear, but facing more surgeries and uncertainty seemed more daunting than removing it, training myself to walk again and getting back to life.”
Getting back to life he did. Now not going from hospital stay to hospital stay, he could return to campus and being a student. He also had two years of eligibility left as an athlete.
The defensive specialist had his amputation just before Thanksgiving 2015 and by winter weights in January 2016 was not only back on campus in classes, but working out with teammates.
“Seeing him do box jumps on one leg was motivating, humbling and gut wrenching all at once,” Cronin said. “This man’s heart and focus is one of those special moments of coaching. I’m never going to forget the lessons he’s taught me through all of this.
“I keep recalling the day of his surgery. Here I was going into his hospital room to comfort him and his smile and determination lifted me up.”
He did not stop at training. Kasey was fitted for a prosthetic blade and in the spring was back in pads on the field, cutting and moving through drills with his teammates.
For his junior season he returned kickoffs for varsity – including a 40-plus return against Faulkner University. He also got opportunities to play defense in some junior varsity games as he continues to work on the feel and movement there.
“I never doubted it. I trust God can move through me and He continues to do so,” Kasey said. “And while it is amazing being back on the field and with my teammates, it is more humbling to help so many others. If I help one person, I feel this was all worth it.”
Kasey has been recognized by Touchdown Club of Columbus’ President’s Award as well as Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame’s inaugural Blanton Collier Leading with Character Award.