MASON, Ohio - A Mason 2nd grader is getting national attention after quarterback Drew Brees commended his football skills on Twitter, which led to a debut on ESPN's SportsCenter.
On Wednesday, New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees tweeted a link of a video showing No. 83 Michael Niere from Mason, Ohio, catching a no-look pass, hesitating about which direction to take the ball, but still running it in for a touchdown.
“WOW! Mason OH 2nd grader makes 1 handed pic return TD. Wasn’t sure which way to run at first. @sportsnation #SCTop10 http://bit.ly/QiUqrb ,” Brees tweeted to his more than 1.4 million followers.
After Brees' tweet, the video made its way on ESPN's SportsCenter, which played the clip at the No. 7 spot on their list of the top 10 plays Wednesday.
To watch the video, click on the player below. (Note to mobile and tablet users: Open the story in a browser to watch.)
The video was posted on the video website Swink, for which Brees is a spokesperson, on Nov. 13, but the game happened some time in October when "Team Kaylor" of the Mason Youth Football League played the team from Sharonville.
The team, named after their head coach Jason Kaylor, was beating the team from Sharonville when the memorable play happened, said the team's assistant coach, Jeff Allgor.
"The impressive part was that players started to block for him, which is impressive for 2nd graders," said Allgor, who has coached with the Mason Youth Football League for 11 years.
The video's popularity is exciting not only for 7-year-old Michael, but also for the rest of the boys on the youth league who are being introduced to the sport, Allgor said. In Mason's league, the 2nd grade is the first year students can start playing football.
"I think the kids on the team are more excited than Michael," he said. "I've been getting emails that every kid in the second grade got up and has been watching SportsCenter now."
While not many 7 year olds can say they have been recognized on TV, the Western Row Elementary School student is still getting used to the idea, said his mom Judy Niere.
“Michael is very excited, but he was very self conscious [Thursday] morning,” Judy said. “At first he was saying ‘Mom, stop talking about it with people.’ But now he says, ‘I am awesome!”
The attention has helped Michael gain some confidence in his athletic abilities, but Judy says her son isn’t the only talented one on the team. The excellent coaches and skilled teammates make every game a fun experience.
Allgor said he thinks social media has helped the video spread and be featured on shows like Good Morning America. But no matter how people get to the video, he says he hopes it brings them fond memories and shows the spirit of the game.
"Hopefully the video makes people smile and laugh and remember them or their kids playing football," Allgor said. "There is so much fun and purity in the game and you see the innocence of it with a kid running the wrong way and knowing that 7 year olds can still make a great play."
As for Michael, his mom says he is already looking forward to next year’s football season and if he has learned nothing else from his web fame, it’s who his new favorite football player is now.
“He’s a big Drew Brees fan now,” Judy said.
You can vote for the play in ESPN's SportsCenter: Best of the Best segment by clicking on this link . The play is currently matched against Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring his 4th goal with bicycle kick from 30 yards out.
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