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Minnesota QB Tanner Morgan says dad's brain tumor was opportunity to 'testify and grow in faith'

Spending time at home with family during the coronavirus pandemic meant something a little bit different for Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan. On May 12, his dad, Ted, successfully underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor at the Mayo Clinic.

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“I think the gist of it is how I feel the Lord has blessed us to get into Mayo so quick and get the best care in the world and all the people that have reached out,” Ted told the Pioneer Press in May. “They have been so unbelievably kind and courteous to us. People that we don’t even know. People believing in faith and that things are going to be OK. There is nothing more important than that.”

When asked this week about everything his family has gone through the past few months, Tanner talked about the ways in which his family’s faith has grown.

“As a family, obviously there was a lot of stuff going on but it was a great opportunity to testify and grow in faith with earthly trials that go on,” he said during a virtual press conference. “To really just trust in God that His plan is amazing, whether it may be good or bad things that happen to you in this world, and we may have all the questions in the world for God, to Jesus and all those different things. All we know is that He’s here for us, the Holy Spirit is with us and personally seeing my dad’s growth in his faith is just amazing, because I know where he’s going to spend his eternal life — with Jesus in Heaven. That means more than anything.”

Tanner also mentioned the amount of support he’s received from the Gophers’ coaching staff led by head coach P.J. Fleck, a sentiment echoed by Ted.

“There are people all over the country praying for me, especially up in Minnesota,” Ted said. “From the AD down to the coaches, the support they have given Tanner and all of us has just been unbelievable.”

In 2019, Tanner led Minnesota to its winningest season since 1904, capped off by a 31-24 victory over Auburn in the Outback Bowl. He set new single-season school records for passing yards, passing touchdowns and completion percentage.

The Big Ten’s decision to cancel fall sports means Tanner and his teammates will have to wait until at least the spring to attempt to build off their 11-2 record in 2019.

“At the end of the day, we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t love to play football,” Tanner said. “The Big Ten did what they thought was best for player health and safety. I commend them for being the conference that actually put player health and safety first.”

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