Kacey Reynolds was a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan who later became part of the team.
Last season, Reynolds, of Maysville, Georgia, was allowed to experience a thrill of a lifetime when he was selected to announce his team’s first-round selection in front of millions of people.
Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Reynolds, who was battling Hodgkin lymphoma, was allowed to stand next to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and rattle off the name of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ top selection.
Dream come true for Kacey Reynolds
A week before the April 25 NFL draft in 2019, Reynolds was notified he would be taking center stage in Nashville to announce the selection. Reynolds found out from a video from his favorite player, Mike Evans, a wide receiver on the Buccaneers.
“I heard you are one of our biggest fans and that you’ve been battling through some tough times,” Evans said in the video. “A few years ago, the Buccaneers drafted me in the first round and it was one of the best nights of my life… I’m excited to let you know you’re going to Nashville for the NFL Draft to represent the Bucs and announce our first-round pick in front of millions of fans. I’m so excited for you and I know you’ll do an awesome job representing Bucs Nation. I’ll be watching, Kacey. Go Bucs!”
Reynolds said he was stunned to hear from Evans and was ecstatic to be making the selection.
“I knew it was something I could never spend money to do. It will be a really great moment, but it’s going to be a really nervous moment, too.”
NFL draft night in Nashville
Just before 9 p.m. on draft night, Reynolds made the announcement that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had selected linebacker Devin White out of LSU.
White and Reynolds developed an immediate bond. Buccaneers’ head coach Bruce Arians even arranged for Reynolds and his family to fly with White back to Tampa after the draft.
During White’s introductory press conference, the Buccaneers’ first-round pick glanced over to Reynolds, who was sitting in the front row and said, “that’s my guy, Kasey.”
During the press conference, White added, “I’m so happy he got to put the pick in. That don’t happen too often, you know, the commissioner does it. When he came up there and he said my name, the first thing I told him was, ‘I thank you for saying my name. Without, you, hey, I wouldn’t be here.’ He got the pick in. I thank him. He rode up here on the jet. Him and his family are great. … I know this is not the end of our relationship. We’re going to stay in touch, and it’s a blessing to be a blessing to another person, and Kasey, if you don’t know it, you were a blessing to me last night.”
Making the pick, made Kacey’s night. “As a parent, you just want your kids to be happy,” said his mother, Kelly Reynolds. “The worst feeling is knowing that there’s nothing you can do to make things better. Seeing him smile was pretty special.”
Kacey Reynolds died on Feb. 23, 2020
On Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, Kacey Reynolds died after a three-year battle with Hodgkin lymphoma. His death came a little more than two weeks after his 20th birthday.
New of his death his hard, especially with some of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers players.
“This one hurts, man,” Mike Evans tweeted. “You loved the squad regardless of the outcome. It was great getting to know you. RIP my friend.’’
The Bucs also issued a statement via Twitter, saying Kacey Reynolds will always be a part of the team.