NFL players help local kids master fundamentals in summer camp
Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 17, 2017
POPLARVILLE — Playing in the NFL—even just for a couple of years—means defying incredible odds. Friday, during Pam’s Angels Foundation football summer camp at Pearl River Community College, three current NFL players shared their secrets to making it to the professional level, while teaching them the fundamentals of the gridiron. Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Seth Roberts, Baltimore Ravens Otha Foster and former New England Patriot Kanorris Davis participated in the camp as a way to give back to the younger generations, the community and camp director Coach Leroy Fredrick.
Roberts, who played at PRCC from 2010 to 2012, said it was a no-brainer to give back to the community that helped him get to where he is today.
“It’s a blessing to be back. This is where it all started for me and to be able to come back is amazing,” Roberts said. “I want to let these kids know that they can be where I am one day, all you have to do is put in the work.”
On top of that, what paved Roberts’ path to the NFL wasn’t just the work he put on the gridiron, but his dedication off the field.
“First off, always listen to your parents and mentors, stay in school and work hard at whatever you love doing. If you can apply that off the field, then it will help you develop positive behaviors and separate you on the football field,” he said.
At the third annual PA Foundation camp, the NFL professionals spoke about the importance of learning the fundamentals and how they can turn even the most average player into a great player.
“Don’t ever get discouraged and work hard. I’m still working to get better every day. This past OTA was one of my better ones, and at the end of the day, I’m never satisfied because I always think I can improve on some part of my game and that’s kept me driven,” Roberts said.
Setting a foundation for the campers is Fredrick’s main goal for the camp, while putting positive role models in front of them to show that anything is possible and though they are from a small town, they still have the chance to make it.
“Positive attitudes bring positive results and these guys are the result of young, small town kids who never gave up on their dreams,” Fredrick said. “It’s a great thing for the kids to train with these guys because they are taught responsibility and accountability. You can’t show up late to that real life job like you show up late to a team meeting. We’re here to make those types of habits common nature for these kids.”
After the training was over, the campers got a chance to talk with the NFL players, get autographs and take pictures.
Fredrick said they plan to continue the camp next year at about the same time and will feature influential professionals like Roberts and Foster as well as two-time Super Bowl champion Dedrick Dodge and wide receiver Jarvis Turner from last year’s camp.