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More news about: UW-Oshkosh
Oct 10, 2017

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Four years ago, UW-Oshkosh coach Pat Cerroni recruited Dylan Hecker to play quarterback for the Titans.

The thought was Hecker would compete with Brett Kasper for the starting job. But after Kasper assumed the role of signal-caller, the Titans wanted to keep Hecker involved. So he moved to running back, where he has flourished to the tune of 3,000 career rushing yards and a school-record 51 touchdowns.

“You can use all the clichés in the world,” Cerroni said while trying to describe his running back. “But, man, he is a fierce competitor.”

Hecker, who was named first team All-WIAC the past two seasons after earning a second team nod his freshman year, didn’t anticipate being a collegiate halfback.

“Up until my senior year, I was thinking I was going to be a linebacker,” Hecker said. “I was a linebacker going into the high school all-star game, and they moved me to running back the day we moved in there.

“But in high school, my senior year, I was a quarterback,” he continued. “We ran a lot of option, and I would sprint out and either chuck it deep, or usually run it, to be honest. I wasn’t your standard quarterback. It was more being an athlete and trying to make plays.”

Cerroni said Hecker was a good defensive player throughout his high school career. But the coach felt Hecker was a more dynamic threat on the offensive side of the ball. That prompted Cerroni to bring Hecker in as a quarterback.

“You put the ball in the kid’s hand, and he had that knack to make yards and the competitive spirit to get in the end zone,” Cerroni said. “Every time he had the ball, he was possessed.”

Throughout their competition as quarterbacks, Hecker and Kasper’s relationship was never contentious.

Kasper ultimately took over the position. He got the start when former starter Dylann Rauch was injured. However, Cerroni noted that if not for an ankle injury suffered earlier that week, Hecker would have gotten the start over Kasper.

“As soon as Brett won the job and stayed there, Dylan moved to running back,” Cerroni said.

The move worked out as Hecker rushed for 489 yards and nine touchdowns his freshman season. He followed that with a 963-yard, 19-touchdown sophomore season before helping the Titans reach the Stagg Bowl in 2016 with 1,142 yards and 17 touchdowns.

“I’m glad it was the way it worked out because Brett and I can both play the same amount. I think we work really well together,” Hecker said. “I enjoy the wildcat stuff. It brings me back to my quarterback days. But I like running back a lot.”

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Hundreds gathered Friday to honor the employees who were killed Thursday after a gunman blasted his way through the glass door of the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis. Their names are Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters. (Ulysses Muñoz / Baltimore Sun video)

Hundreds gathered Friday to honor the employees who were killed Thursday after a gunman blasted his way through the glass door of the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis. Their names are Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters. (Ulysses Muñoz / Baltimore Sun video)

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I watched John McNamara die. I had to step over Wendi Winters to escape. I said “f---” on CNN.

If you’re upset about the expletive and not that someone killed almost every editor at The Capital — five people who were deeply loved and irreplaceable — you are not an American.

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If your help ends at thoughts and prayers, I don’t want them. What I want is action.

I’m not just talking to the president, or our governor, or our elected officials. I’m talking to every single person in this nation.

We must do better. We must vote better. We must push for legislation so that this doesn’t feel normal.

Rob Hiaasen, Gerald Fischman, Wendi Winters, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and thousands of people are dead because of shootings like the one I lived through.

Rob Hiaasen, Wendy Winters, John McNamara Rebecca Smith and Gerald Fischman.

Rob Hiaasen, Wendy Winters, John McNamara Rebecca Smith and Gerald Fischman.

The man who killed the people I love bought his gun legally. His record of stalking and harassment had been expunged. But even if it hadn’t been, he still could have bought the gun he used to shoot Rebecca, Wendi, Rob, Gerald and John.

He was legally allowed to plot our deaths and trap us like fish in a barrel.

This is not political. I’m not asking for change as a liberal media puppet. I’m asking for something to be done for the sake of our humanity.

The day after the mass shooting on June 28, at the offices of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md. June 29, 2018.

When my parents took me home from the police station on Thursday, my dad, a retired homicide detective, joked about how I should have had a concealed carry weapon. He’s always been a strong believer in the good guy with the gun.

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