Michigan State vs. Nebraska, 11.17

Nebraska outside linebackers/special teams coach Jovan Dewitt during warmups prior to the Michigan State game in November at Memorial Stadium.

Jovan Dewitt delivered some of the best news of the spring on Tuesday evening. 

The Nebraska outside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator, who in January was diagnosed with a form of throat cancer, said on the "Sports Nightly" radio program that a recent CAT scan revealed "there's no cancer left in my body." 

"Long term, I should be able to make a full recovery," he said. "I'm in the process of going through different therapies — occupational therapy, speech therapy — and I've got to get these lymphatic massages until the lymphatic fluid gets flushed from my body because my face is pretty swollen right now.

"But I'll be able to make a full recovery and I've got a couple weeks more of therapy, but the prognosis is really pretty good to be able to live a long and normal life." 

Dewitt, 43, went through three rounds of chemotherapy and was originally slated for 38 radiation treatments, he said Tuesday. The Milwaukee native has updated his progress here and there over recent months, saying in late April that he had eaten a paleo pancake — his first solid food in months — and last week that he was able to get on the road for a brief recruiting trip. 

This step, though, of course, is the big one. 

Dewitt talked with a significant rasp and said he had lost 95 pounds overall since the diagnosis. He described the toll the treatments took, saying his throat looked, "like hamburger." And yet he was upbeat and raved again, as he did during spring football, about the care he's received. 

"One of the most significant people in the world to me is my wife," Dewitt said. "She's been a rock star. She's driven me everywhere, taken care of me, checked on me over and over at all different hours of the night. This is easily the most difficult thing I've ever had to go through and it really questions a lot of the things you believe in, and for her to stand fast with me through everything, through every treatment I go through, she's been pretty amazing." 

Dewitt also said his children, his current and former players, and fellow NU coaches have played a big role, as have Husker fans who have written or showed support. 

Dewitt said he'll be popping into Nebraska's camps during the month of June as much as he can, but that his main goal is to get as healthy as possible in the run-up toward preseason camp beginning Aug. 1. 

"I won't be around full-time for camps, I just physically can't quite do it yet, but I'm going to be in and out as much as is humanly possible for me." 

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.


Sports writer

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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