Husker with hearing loss on navigating the football field, classrooms and being a role model

Published: Oct. 10, 2019 at 6:45 PM CDT
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Memorial Stadium is loud. From the tunnel walk, to halftime performance, to fans erupting for a touchdown, Saturdays at the stadium can reach incredibly loud volumes.

One Nebraska football player can't hear any of it.

"When I run out on the field to memorial stadium, it's so loud. The stadium shaking, it's so loud my hearing aid shuts off," said Todd Honas, a wide receiver for Nebraska's football team. "But I can feel the vibrations on my pads and my helmet as I run out there."

Honas is a student, an athlete and has been losing his hearing since birth.

"This is my norm," said Honas. "There's all those little norms that people have, and I have mine too."

Honas navigates his world by reading lips, especially in classroom settings. During games and practice, Honas watches everybody's movement and waits for the ball to snap to determine when he starts running his routes. Said Honas:

"I can't hear a whistle, I can't hear the quarterback. I think he goes 'set-hut,' I can't hear that."

Honas said being on such a big stage as a person with hearing loss is something he wished he could have seen more of as a child.

"Now, looking back on it, I try to be the person that I needed when I was younger for those other kids."

Football is just the beginning for Honas, and he wants other children in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community to know that the sky is really the limit.

"Any sport, any sort of avenue you want to go into, it's possible, whatever you want to do."

When Honas isn't on the football field, the junior is studying to get a degree in communication and business.