Nemec remembers basically going numb when he heard Anderson had the same form of cancer as Cowgill. He also remembers his wife asking what he was going to do and needing to get some fresh air. A phone call to longtime friend and current Ohio State offensive coordinator Jim Bollman ensued. Bollman relayed the message to Tressel who quickly followed up.
"I said ‘Jim, I’m very emotional right now and I’m reaching out,’" Nemec said. "I told him (Ryan had) gotten 20 letters a day from colleges and that, ‘They’re going to stop abruptly. I gotta get something very positive and inspiring to him. I don’t know what you can do or what your limits are but I need some help.’
"Tressel said, ‘John, just go hug Ryan.’"
Days later, Anderson received a package addressed to him with over 100 hand-written letters from the entire Ohio State football program – coaches and players combined. Nemec made Anderson promise to read every one.
"The impact of getting over 100 letters from Ohio State was more meaningful than I think anyone will ever know," Nemec said. "It just shows you the quality of leadership that the Ohio State football program has. Ohio State has a coach that gets it. (Tressel) understands."