LINCOLN — The cancer is gone. So are 95 pounds. And most of his voice. Nebraska outside linebackers coach Jovan Dewitt spent the past four months in treatment and therapy for throat cancer. It’s the hardest thing, he said on Sports Nightly, that he’s ever gone through. The support from his family — his wife, kids, fellow coaches and current and former players — pulled him through the trial.
“I’ll be able to make a full recovery,” Dewitt said on Sports Nightly. He still has therapy remaining, but he should make it out to some of NU’s football camps in June. July — scheduled vacation for all the Husker coaches — will be about having “as much fun as possible” with his wife and kids. The goal, Dewitt said, is to be ready to roll by early August, when training camp begins.
Since getting the cancer diagnosis in January, Dewitt has leaned on the support of many. He participated in the first part of spring camp as a coach — talking to NU reporters in March — but said on Tuesday that he spent most of April in the hospital getting therapy. A recent CAT scan revealed no cancer cells in his body, but treatment made his throat look like hamburger, he said.
In that setting, football became his “relief.” He’d get his hands on football film whenever he could. He’d grade practice film when he could.
“I once spent time watching Illinois vs. Penn State 2007, the big game where Illinois beat Penn State,” Dewitt said. “For college football coaches, it’s really not what we do, it’s really more of an obsession for us. So it really helps alleviate my mind and a lot of the worries I’ve had to go through for the last few months. It’s very, very therapeutic for me to talk football and be around football and coach football and absorb as much of it as I can.”
The support of coach Scott Frost and other Husker assistants has been important, too, Dewitt said.
“When I speak about my family, I want to make sure everyone understands I’m speaking about those guys as well,” Dewitt said. “In terms of how much they’ve checked on my family, twice a week, they’d bring by meals so my wife didn’t have to worry about cooking, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s a huge, huge thing to have that kind of support.”