Colorado linebacker Addison Gillam recorded over 200 tackles and 10 sacks during three seasons with the Buffaloes, and he was expected to be a key contributor for Colorado in 2017.
However, Gillam decided to take a sabbatical during spring training. The details of the sabbatical were unknown until recently. Gillam decided to hike the 2,200 Appalachian Trail, and he revealed on his GoFundMe that he needs financial assistance for his hike.
Here’s what Gillam wrote on his GoFundMe.
“Hello, my name is Addison Gillam and it is my goal to try and hike the entirety of the Appalachian Trail, the 2180 mile footpath from Georgia to Maine. I want to hike the Appalachian Trail because I have been playing football since I was 6 years old, now 23, and living a specific schedule for such a long time that I wanted to experience something new and something that fits well into my interests. Following the hike I plan on getting a job as a firefighter and I believe this experience will be beneficial. The reason I wanted to start a GoFundMe is because it would take away some of the stress and worries while on the trail. The money donated will mainly be used for food resupply when I reach towns and for equipment if I need to get new things. Any size donation would be incredibly helpful as it is fairly cheap to get food for a weeks worth of hiking. I am already about 170 miles into the hike and loving every minute of it.”
Gillam set a goal for $5,000, and as of now people have donated $1,190. The trail passes through 14 states, including Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
Gillam has one year of eligibility remaining, but it appears as if he is forgoing that season to hike the trail.
Even if he wanted to play again, he would likely be ineligible since he has received impermissible benefits. Either way, it’s rare to see a college football player miss his last season due to going hiking.
(h/t BSN Denver)