Former University of Hawaii kicker Ryan Meskell is taking an important part of his island experience to the pros.
Meskell, who now kicks for the Edmonton Elks of the CFL, has chosen to don No. 41. It is the same jersey number that belonged to the late Scheyenne Sanitoa, the former UH linebacker who died by suicide in the summer of 2019.
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Meskell wore No. 17 and 46 during his days as a Rainbow Warrior.
Nobody in the UH program has worn No. 41 since Sanitoa.
The Elks (0-1) take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Week 2 action on Saturday. Meskell, who is 13 months removed from reconstructive surgery on his right ACL, has yet to log any stats in the regular season. But when he has to turn somewhere to look for inspiration, he doesn’t have to look very far.
“There was about twenty numbers available and they said, “Which one do you want? I saw 41 straight away and I just said I want No. 41. My mind went straight to Scheyenne,” Meskell told KHON2 sports director Rob DeMello. “Every day when I come into work and see my jersey hanging up there with number 41 on it, it’s pretty special. It reminds you to go out there and enjoy yourself on the football field and then it also reminds you that you got to check up on your friends and make sure you don’t forget to check in with everybody and make sure that they’re doing alright.
“It’s something that I wasn’t expecting but when I saw the number, I was like, yeah, that’s my number right there. That’s my guy.”
Note: If you or someone you know may be experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.