But things only got tougher. Now Tolzien's struggling in the NFL. After a stint with the Chargers, he's the third-string quarterback with San Francisco.
Even though the Badgers lost the Rose Bowl, a 7-year-old fan won big. Though Tolzien's football career is struggling, someone's thriving.
Jaxson Hinkens was diagnosed in 2009 with stage four cancer. He dreamed of an autographed football from the Wisconsin quarterbacks, and his parents made it happen. Although Scott was only third-string, he and Jaxson became fast friends.
At that point Jaxson was a wake-up call to the team - what really mattered? “His situation put everything into perspective,” Scott said. “It made our problems seem irrelevant.”
Little did they know, that trip would turn into something much more special: A lifetime friendship. It all began when Jaxson received his autographed ball and was invited to stay for practice. “His whole face lit up,” Scott recalls. “It was contagious. All the guys could tell he was a big fan.”
They played catch and talked football together. Soon, Scott started visiting the hospital where they reviewed games and prepared for the season. While Scott was battling for a championship, Jaxson was battling for his life.
Jaxson became a part of the team. Scott helped him keep his mind off the disease that ravaged his small body, and Jaxson helped the quarterback look beyond the game.
Even though the team lost the championship, Jaxson won. After over a year of grueling treatment and in part thanks to the support and encouragement of his new friend, he managed to beat cancer.
Jaxson continues to help keep things in perspective. As Tolzien himself said, “I was in a position to give back and make a difference."There's a bigger game being played.