Having a football camp in my hometown is something I’ve wanted to do ever since my rookie season. The goal being to make a positive impact on kids’ lives while having fun at the same time. I want kids to say that my camp is the best 2 days of their summer, that is the vision.
The kids are what really makes my camp special. It’s so rewarding to spend a couple days with them, and hopefully make an impression on their lives. Every year is something new. The kids might give you a witty or awkward comment, or even something deep and profound. The comments and the interactions with the kids are something I look forward to every year. And I’m lucky to be able to do it.
As much as football is my professional career and an enormous part of my life, it’s not the end game. It’s not what my life is built on, thankfully. Football is a platform. There aren’t many jobs that everything you do gets scrutinized in the newspaper or analyzed by fantasy stat experts. Football gives me a very unique opportunity to make a difference, a positive difference and ultimately point people to the foundation of my life, which is my faith. That is why I do this camp and teach the kids.
It is very intentional to not just teach the kids about football, but also about life. Each day we have a bible verse they memorize. And there is a principle that goes with it. For example, 1 Corinthians 15:33 says “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character”. We teach the kids that they have to be smart about the friends they choose to hang around with. The Bible makes it very clear no matter how good your character is, if you hang around bad company too much, it will eventually rub off. That is just the way the world works.
In every relationship, you’re either being influenced or you're influencing someone else. So when you're around people who you feel like may not have the best character, chose to be the one who influences them in a positive way. If you’re someone being influenced in a negative way, chose to walk away.
Another example is Galatians 6:7. It says “Do not be deceived, God cannot be mocked, a man reaps what he sows.” The lesson here is on decision making and the consequences that can follow. You become a product of the decisions you make. When you learn to be a great decision maker, life is a beautiful thing.
Having this camp is something that I will cherish forever.