On September 25, 2014, Mark Andrews had his life saved by a teammate.
That afternoon, Oklahoma long snapper Wesley Horky found his roommate on his bed, his eyes fixated straight ahead, yet his massive body totally motionless.
Andrews has Type-1 diabetes, which is a genetic disorder in which the body does not produce insulin on its own. Andrews manages it like clockwork, making sure he gets enough sugar in his body to make sure his glucose levels don’t spike or drop.
But nobody knows what happened that day, as Andrews and Horky told Bleacher Report.
By the time paramedics arrived at Andrews’ dorm room, he had started to come to. Thanks to quick thinking by Andrews’ mom, Martha, Horky stuffed fruit chews into his mouth and it worked.
The whole episode was rattling, but not something that Andrews or the Ravens are worried about moving forward. Andrews was diagnosed when he was 9. He’s been dealing with it for more than a decade.
“I’ve never had it affect me during football and sports, so it’s never been a problem,” Andrews said.
“It’s something that I take extremely good care of myself; I’m very diligent about it. It’s not a problem – it’s just something I always have to be aware of. I always take care of my body, and that’s something always at the front of my mind.”
Andrews reportedly wears an insulin pump on his right hip and only takes it off when he’s playing football. As a kid, he often checked his levels while on the bench. In Baltimore, Andrews will have all the dietary needs and staff needed at his fingertips.
Andrews said some teams asked leading up to the draft about the condition, just wondering how he dealt with it. The Ravens weren’t concerned. Head Coach John Harbaugh said it was never brought up in draft meetings.
“Maybe I wasn’t paying attention when it got brought up,” he said with a chuckle. “It wasn’t something that factored into to our consideration at all.”
The diagnosis didn’t stop Andrews from doing anything he wanted in football – and doing it well. Andrews scored seven touchdowns as a freshman at Oklahoma one year after his dorm room incident. He won the John Mackey Award (nation’s best college tight end) after posting 62 catches for 958 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior.
Standing it at 6-foot-5, 256 pounds, Andrews has the size of a tight end but the skillset of a wide receiver. He’s smooth, has a knack for getting open, makes contested catches and grabs everything that comes his way, and he showed that during rookie minicamp.
Andrews’ first NFL practice Friday was during an unseasonably hot May day that got into the mid-90s. It was a long, high-tempo practice, and Andrews got through it fine.
“I almost get an Oklahoma-vibe being out here,” Andrews said. “They love to work hard. You have to work for everything, and that’s how it was at Oklahoma. It’s kind of like coming home to me.”