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SIU alum Seaman makes his most important tackle The former Saluki fought off a school shooter last Friday.

Byline: Chris Barron Contributing Writer

Do you remember the name Jason Seaman? Well, I do -- and I shall for a long, long time. I was in my seventh year of covering the resurgent Saluki football program headed by legendary Ccach Jerry Kill when Seaman came on the scene.

He was a true freshman who finally got to play because of an injury to the starter on a semifinals-level FCS playoff team quarterbacked by current Saluki head football coach Nick Hill.

Seaman got few tackles that year, but was impressive off the field. In fact, he was named to the Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Academic team, which is a bit unusual for a first-year player. He went on to eventually be a full-time starter in 2010.

He had 88 career tackles in 47 Saluki football games, but the biggest tackle of his life came last Friday, May 25. Seaman was giving a finals exam as a science teacher at Noblesville Middle School in Indiana when a student at the school, who had asked to be excused to get something out of his locker, came back with a horrible surprise.

The 13-year-old brought back two loaded handguns and started firing away at the class. A fraction of a second after the shooter had hit a girl, Seaman threw a basketball that was near his desk into the face of the assailant, disrupting his shooting just long enough so that the former defensive lineman could bull rush him.

Seaman wrestled him to the ground and pinned him, even though Seaman had been shot three times in the process. With his courageous act, Seaman prevented a possible big-time mass shooting.

"If he hadn't stepped up, how many junior high kids could have been killed," Hill said last Friday. "At SIU you could always trust him to do the right thing."

It's obvious that he did do the right thing, not even thinking about himself, his wife and two children. Those sorts of life-and-death decisions usually are made without much cognitive thought.

The 13-year old victim was still in critical condition as of last Saturday. Amazingly, Seaman was talking and in good condition after being shot in the abdomen and the leg area.

Seaman even called his wife from the ambulance to let her know he'd be OK. True heroes think about others before themselves.

"Jason was a great example for all the other players in the classroom and on the field." said his defensive line coach, Austin Flyger. "He was all the things you want a student-athlete to be."

I'm guessing Seaman may be honored at a Saluki football game this coming fall. He deserves at least that.

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Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:May 30, 2018
Words:444
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