A group of Oklahoma State football players visited patients at The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center on Wednesday.
The players used their day off to joke and have fun with children at the hospital. Tulsa native Ernest Cobb was one of them.
Junior Nick Rockwell and seniors Tracy Moore and Nigel Nicholas were the first players to greet Ernest, 9, in his room on the eighth floor Wednesday, and he perked up at the sight of them. Moore, Nicholas and Rockwell gave Ernest gifts, including an OSU bag, and posed for a photo with him.
The players were about to leave Ernest when Nicholas asked Ernest for his autograph.
“Can you make it out to Nigel, please?” Nicholas said.
Ernest obliged, writing his name on an orange sheet of paper. After the players left, Ernest gave his thoughts about the experience.
“Cool,” he said.
Junior Justin Gilbert also thought the experience was cool.
“It feels great to finally be able to give back,” he said. “It's my first time being able to come on this trip. It's a pretty good experience.”
The players also interacted with children on two separate floors of the hospital. Moore led a group of players to each designated room while waving black and orange pom-poms.
Moore said he felt fortunate to be in a position to bring happiness to the patients.
“Definitely something special happens, doing stuff like this,” he said. “The kids kind of rub off on you.”
He said he still wears wristbands past patients have given him, and just wearing them helps him during practice.
“You just bring that with you going through these hard summer workouts, knowing that someone else doesn't have their full health,” Moore said. “Try to make the most out of ours.”
Nicholas said he'd been looking forward to the visit and was excited about the chance to bring joy to children.
“We don't get a lot of chances to do this and, when we do, it just feels good to put a smile on other people's faces,” Nicholas said.
He got what he came for after interacting with the first patient he visited. He saw children smile, saw Ernest smile.