Five years ago, Eddie Delaney walked onto the University of Albany football team as an unrecruited freshman from Sachem East High in New York. Why is a walk-on a big deal? Delaney is missing his left hand.
Delaney has twice made second-team, all-league in the Northeast Conference of the Football Championship Subdivision. And now, after growing nearly half a foot and gaining 50 pounds of muscle from tireless work in the weight room, Delaney is a bona fide star for the Great Danes.
Heck, even some NFL scouts have asked about the muscular, 6-foot-6, 250-pound fifth-year senior, who was elected a team captain and was the top returning tackler on the defensive line.
Delaney also has diabetes, another hurdle for the star lineman. He’d rather just talk about what he does have.
“I’d rather be acknowledged for my football performance rather than being able to do something (with a handicap),” said Delaney, who carefully wraps his insulin pump at his waist when dressing for practice.
For someone faced with such adversity, Delaney has lived about as normal a life as one could imagine. Born and raised on Long Island, he learned to ride a bicycle at the same time as his friends, and excelled in football, baseball and lacrosse.