Chase Marso grew up with dreams of playing college football. The Brandon native was a standout for the Lynx in high school, but after an injury his junior year, found another passion in the medical world.
"I've had that dream for medicine from early in high school and then, as it became closer and closer to reality at Augustana in pursuing that path through Biology," Augustana Quarterback Chase Marso said.
He earned a spot on Augustana roster, and after spending three years as the back-up QB, Marso was ready to take over as the starter in 2017. Only problem? His second love became reality when he was accepted into Harvard Medical School. Marso had planned to defer his enrollment until 2018, but after that request was denied, he had 10 days to make the biggest decision of his life.
"The very best advice I got in kind of a different way was just being that sounding board and being able to ask me questions - tough questions - and really get me to think through the situation as I tried to figure out what was the best decision going forward," Marso said.
"You know, if it was 'come back and be our starting quarterback' - perfect. Chase, let's go be great. Or if it's go to Med school, well Chase will be the best at that too, so he'll be great at no matter what he does in his life just because of who Chase Marso is," Augustana Offensive Coordinator James Schrenk said.
After a few sleepless nights and great family advice, Chase decided to accept his enrollment into Harvard Medical school this fall.
"Sitting down with my parents, and talking it through with the coaches and teammates, and friends and family that was closest to me - I came to the decision - and I can't really rationalize to the specific deciding factor - but I just felt like this was the next step to pursue that next opportunity outside of my medical career and pursue that dream," Marso said.
"He is that kind of kid where everyday you'll miss being around him. Popping in the meeting room with a big o'l smile on his face and ready to learn. It's a different deal and he will be incredible missed,"
More than 7,000 students applied for Harvard Medical school in 2016, less than 250 - or just about three percent - were admitted. It's nearly a once-in-a-life opportunity that Chase couldn't let pass by.
"To be part of that three percent - I have to say God has got his hand on this because you know, sometimes I just sit back and say how - how am I in that three percent," Marso said.
Although a piece of Marso will wonder what could have been with Augie football, the future physician is thrilled with the next step along his journey.
"There is certainly a little bit of sadness walking around the football complex and you know, seeing coaches and friends, and teammates. But also very, very excited for this next opportunity because it is an incredible opportunity. I recognize that it is one, it truly is once in-a-lifetime, so looking forward to making the most of the opportunity starting in July in Boston," Marso said.