Make-A-Wish teen, lifelong Buccaneers fan to announce Tampa Bay's first-round pick
When the Buccaneers are prepared to make their first-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, it won’t be just the player being selected that is living out a lifelong dream.
Tampa Bay has made a special announcement leading up to Thursday’s draft as 19-year-old Kacey Reynolds will be making the pick for the NFL franchise. Reynolds is currently battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Maysville, Ga., native will take the podium live from Nashville on Thursday to announce the team’s selection, which is the fifth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
“I knew it was something I could never spend money to do,” Reynolds said to Buccaneers.com. “It will be a really great moment, but it’s going to be a really nervous moment, too.”
Getting to make Tampa Bay’s first pick of the draft is pretty cool but the way Reynolds found out may have been even cooler as the Georgia teen was surprised by his friends and family with a video from the team’s star receiver, Mike Evans.
“I heard you are one of our biggest fans and that you’ve been battling through some tough times,” Evans said in the video. “A few years ago, the Buccaneers drafted me in the first round and it was one of the best nights of my life… I’m excited to let you know you’re going to Nashville for the NFL Draft to represent the Bucs and announce our first-round pick in front of millions of fans. I’m so excited for you and I know you’ll do an awesome job representing Bucs Nation. I’ll be watching, Kacey. Go Bucs!”
When Evans shared the news, Reynolds knew the Make-A-Wish Foundation had come through for him.
“I was completely shocked when they played the video of Mike Evans and he said my name,” added Reynolds. “That was the minute I realized my wish was coming true.”
While there’s little doubt Roger Goodell will be booed by the crowd when he comes out to announce the first-round selections, there’s no chance Reynolds gets anything other than a roaring ovation from the Nashville crowd on Thursday night.