A Mason second grader is receiving national attention after making a “play of a lifetime” that’s attracted the attention of an NFL quarterback and made it on ESPN.
On Wednesday, New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees tweeted a link of a video showing 7-year-old Michael Niere (#83) of Mason making a one-handed interception and initially running the wrong way with the ball before running it back for a touchdown.
After Brees’ tweet, the play was featured on ESPN’s SportsCenter and Good Morning America.
“This has taken on a life of its own,” said Michael’s mother, Judy Niere, of the media attention.
“At first (Michael) was self-conscious about it, but when he saw the news cameras, he thought it was pretty cool. You could tell he was proud,” she said.
Jason Kaylor, who coaches the Mason Comets “Team Kaylor” team, posted the video on the website Swink.tv earlier this month. Brees is a spokesperson for the site, which allows players of all levels to create and share highlights of their plays.
Kaylor said the play is all the more impressive considering the first-year team hasn’t worked much on passing and interceptions in practices.
“Some might call it luck. Some might call it great coaching. It was an amazing play,” said Kaylor, who played four years at Indiana University. “The mechanics alone that go into the play are tremendous. From a technical aspect, I haven’t seen anything better in my years of playing football.”
Judy Niere thinks luck may have played more of a role that day.
“As a mom, I should say it’s his technical skill, but I think it’s a total fluke and the ball landed in his hand and he said, ‘Oh my gosh, where do I go?,’” she said with a laugh.
The national spotlight has helped Michael, a second grade student at Western Row Elementary, gain more confidence in his skills and made football his new favorite sport, said his mother.
“I think this will be his sport now for a while,” she said. “If nothing else, we’ll save it and embarrass him years from now.”