MOBILE, AL (WTOL) - The first full day in Mobile saw a lot of activity both on and off the field. There's so much that goes into a bowl week outside of preparing for the football game.
Wednesday, both Toledo and Appalachian State spent the morning visiting patients at the University of South Alabama Children's and Women's Hospital.
For Toledo center Nate Jeppesen, it was a touching morning.
The Rocket senior could relate to these children on a different level, as just a short time ago, he was in their shoes, getting infusions to help with his colitis.
"I got diagnosed with ulcerative colitis a few years ago," Jeppesen said. "I got infusions every eight weeks, I was on a lot of medication, I'm slowly starting to ween off the medication. I'm in the remission phase now, so that's a very good thing, but it was very, very hard for a while there."
Believe it or not, the 6-foot-3, 282-pound offensive lineman even did the splits after one patient challenged him to. That patient was one that had exactly the same condition as Jeppesen.
"I've talked to people about it, yes, but like, not to someone who actually has the same thing," Jeppesen said. "It wasn't even like the step above ulcerative colitis, which is Chron's disease, or like the step below, it was the exact same thing I had, it was just incredible, it was great."
After spending time with the children, the Rockets then had their first practice since arriving in Mobile.
Toledo Head Coach Jason Candle commented the discussion he's had with the team about going for school history in earning their 12th win of the season – something that's only been achieved twice in 100 years of Toledo football.
"You're staring at not only this last game for the senior class, but it's a game for the team to put that 12th win on the board," Candle said. "Anybody that talks about Toledo football or their history always talks about those teams that won 12. Chuck Ealey and some of those guys, their names always come up, that'd be really cool in 20 years if this team's remembered like that."
The Rockets then capped off their night, meeting up once again with the Mountaineers, this time for a friendly, yet competitive game of bowling.