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Gachkar (6-3) 228 is a second-year linebacker.
A seventh-round draft pick in 2011, Andrew Gachkar did exactly what he needed to do to make the team: excel on special teams. Gachkar tied for the team lead with 12 special teams tackles and gained valuable experience in limited time as a reserve inside linebacker.
That experience should bode well for the former Missouri Tiger as he heads into his second NFL season. Gachkar has an inspirational story. In 2007, after his freshman year at Missouri, Gachkar was diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Basically a blood clot developed because his collarbone and rib cage were too close together to allow proper blood flow through his veins. As a result, Gachkar had to have major surgery to remove one of his ribs and a second surgery later when another clot developed. In total, Gachkar spent more than 20 hours in surgery and nearly a month in the hospital where he lost 30 pounds. The surgeries initially put Gachkar’s football future in doubt, but he was diligent in his rehabilitation and he made it back for the 2008 season without missing a game.
By the time Gachkar left Missouri, he did so as a first-team All-Big 12 choice by the Associated Press and a solid special teams player. He led one of the most improved defenses in the nation in 2010 with a team-best 81 tackles, while also leading the Tigers in interceptions, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries and blocked kicks. Gachkar is engaged to his high school sweetheart, Lauren Nuckolls. They plan to wed in Missouri in March 2013.