LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The yard lines are painted white and the numbers sprayed on the grass in Holy Cross's maroon and grey, ready for the Friday night lights. But between the 40's and 50 are two 45's painted in black and blue in honor of Nick Rodman, a former Cougar who wore that number over his heart on Friday nights more than a decade earlier.
"He was a beast. He was 110 percent every play," Holy Cross Athletic Director Jody Thornsberry said. "Nick never took a play off, played with energy, lots of enthusiasm."
When asked what he remembers most about Rodman, Thornsberry said the word "passion" comes to mind first.
A member of the class of 2005, Thornsberry said Rodman was a consummate teammate on the gridiron and a star student in the classroom. Rodman went on to become a Louisville Metro Police officer, following in the footsteps of his father and brother.
"He was a joy to be around with in the class and classmates loved him," Thornsberry said.
It was while he was on the job serving the city he loved when Rodman was killed, his death shocking Louisville and the Holy Cross community. In the months following his death, the staff at Holy Cross has continued to teach its students about their alumnus and his dedication to service.
"We continue to talk about Nick. We have to continue to do that and remind kids that his legacy continues to live," Holy Cross President Danielle Wiegandt said. "The HC on their jackets and the uniforms they wear were worn by thousands of people who are alums of this school."
The school will be painting Rodman's number on the field for every home game this season and will be holding a special ceremony with his family before Friday's game to celebrate his life.
"When he was here on this campus, he was fun and he was the person that was the life of the party, and we wanted that, tonight, to be reflective of him," Wiegandt said.
It is just one small thing Holy Cross is doing, but it's an important way to continue to make sure Rodman's legacy is never forgotten in the halls of the school and the hearts of its community.
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