Italian student hits the gridiron in rural Nebraska

Nov 22, 2016 257

He knew he was the last man. If he missed the tackle, the running back would score. To the north, tan cornstalks blew in the wind. Parents watched from the stands built into the Tecumseh hillside and 22 players were on the field, but in that moment, it was just the runner against Johnson County Central's No. 87.

Andrea Graziani, a 17-year-old from the wine-growing region of central Italy, never expected to be on an American football field. He grew up in a volleyball home. His mom, Flamigni Cinzia, played for the Italian national team. His dad, Pierluigi Graziani, played in a lower-level professional league.

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