Lifelong bond- Syracuse quarterback Terrel Hunt finds inspiration in Orange superfan Dan Johnson

What you'll read in this story says so much about Terrel Hunt and the man he is. It also speaks the world of Dan "Orangeyes" Johnson, and his devotion for Syracuse University in his 68 years on this Earth.

Dan passed away on July 12, after more than 100 days and several surgeries at Crouse Hospital.

Before he passed though, he was able to experience one of his dreams coming true.

You see, back in 2007 Dan was instrumental in bringing the Ernie Davis statue to the SU quad.

Simply put, without Dan, it would not have happened.

He was so proud that it stood there.

Shortly after it was erected, a young man from Christ The King High School in New York City would see it for the first time.

That young man was Hunt, whose mother fell in love with the statue.

"It felt like home" Hunt tells me of that tour of Syracuse University that he took with his mother, when they saw the statue.

Terrel says he had his mom watch "The Express" before that visit.

Terrel's mother tragically passed at 48 years old of Pancreatic Cancer, but before she passed she said that she wanted him to go to Syracuse.

Terrel, absolutely honored her wishes.

A few years later, here in 2014, Dan and Terrel would meet for the first time.

It happened after Syracuse Head Coach Scott Shafer spent hours in the hospital visiting Dan. Knowing Johnson's role behind the statue of Ernie Davis he told Terrel that he should visit.

Hunt obliged, and two men's lives would change forever.

Terrel tells me it was very difficult, given what he went through with his mom, to even make the trip. But when he arrived at Dan's hospital room, Dan perked up, just like Terrel's mom would when he would enter her hospital room.

It made him smile.

The two of them talked about several topics, Terrel smiled wide when I asked if he got as much out of the visit as Dan did.

"Without a doubt"

Terrel met the man, that, in a way, was responsible for him attending Syracuse.

He met the man who had a vision of a statue of Ernie Davis, the statue that his mother enjoyed so much.

When Dan passed, Terrel was one of the first people through the door of the funeral home. Another difficult journey, but a necessary one.

"I just felt like I didn't get a chance to see him that last time. I just felt really like it was an obligation for me. I had to go see him. I was more hurt that I didn't get to see him that last time. " Hunt tells me.

"The fact that I had to see him like that, that last time I just hoped I could go to his family and give them my condolences that I'm sorry for their loss and that I'm happy that they're there to support us. I'm gonna support them 100%" he adds.

Albeit, via a tragic loss, a lifelong bond was formed.

Terrel will take Dan with him wherever he goes and thus one of the rarest of relationships was born.

The star athlete and the super fan became friends. They became more than that.

For Dan, Terrel served as a job well done.

The statue of a man that inspired so many ensured that a hero for our generation would be Orange.

Yes, Terrel is a hero.

He may not have a Heisman Trophy (yet) but he's a hero because he has so much more to offer.

Athletes everywhere, take notes.

Terrel made Dan's dream come true. All because he cared enough.

Cared enough about the "fan" that he meant the world to.