13.4 C
New York

For 3 NFL players from Delaware, football clinic a technique to give back

Published:

WILMINGTON – After 2 1/2 hours of shuttling between football drills each contained in the Chase Fieldhouse and out of doors in the warmth, it was time for the children to ask the three NFL players from Delaware some questions.

So one among the 250 campers on the TITUS Free Community Football Clinic on Friday asked Darnell Savage, a security for the Green Bay Packers, who’s a greater defensive back than him?

Savage didn’t hesitate and responded, “No one!”

SPRING STARS:5 players who stood out at Eagles’ OTAs, including 3 wide receivers vying for roster spot

BLUE-GOLD BROTHERHOOD:Brotherly love fuels this player’s Blue-Gold football experience

One other asked Brian O’Neill, a right tackle for the Minnesota Vikings, what it’s like fidgeting with wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who’s the primary player in NFL history with not less than 3,000 receiving yards in his first two seasons.

A fast aside: Yes, Jefferson still haunts the Eagles, who took wide receiver Jalen Reagor with the twenty first pick within the 2020 draft, one pick ahead of Jefferson.

“I adore it,” O’Neill exclaimed.

And one other asked Troy Reeder, who began at linebacker for the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams last season before moving on to the L.A. Chargers through the offseason, if he would’ve been sad had the Rams lost the Super Bowl to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Brian O'Niell of the Minnesota Vikings races kids at a free NFL clinic for youths at Chase Fieldhouse, Friday, June 17, 2022.

“Very sad,” Reeder responded, adding later: “I might’ve been crushed.”

As an alternative, Reeder brought with him a reproduction of the Vince Lombardi Trophy, and he was exuberant showing it off.

Troy Reeder (left) of the LA Chargers looks on during drills at a free NFL clinic for youths at Chase Fieldhouse, Friday, June 17, 2022.

The youngsters, ranging in ages from 8 to 16, listened intently not only through the query and answer session, but through the various drills that included a mini NFL Mix (timed 40-yard dash, bench press, long jump and other drills), together with offensive and defensive drills.

And really, for Reeder, O’Neill and Savage, the experience was just as rewarding as they participated in a number of the drills with the children. They’d grown up figuring out at Titus, founded and run by Shawn Hoffman. They each credited those training sessions with enabling them to star in highschool, college and now within the NFL.

Brian O'Neill (right) of the Minnesota Vikings leads drill at a free NFL clinic for youths at Chase Fieldhouse, Friday, June 17, 2022.

And so they were determined to present back. The clinic was a part of a program to boost money to begin a Titus scholarship to supply opportunities for local athletes who otherwise couldn’t afford to coach at Titus, which is housed on the Chase Fieldhouse.

Reeder, O’Neill and Savage have contributed greater than $50,000 to the cause, and area businesses have donated as well.

“We felt that this Titus program pushed us to achieve our goals,” Reeder said. “So it’s vital for us. Our goal is the cash raised through this can ultimately help underprivileged kids who’ll have a shot to play at the school level, or simply be really good highschool players. 

Darnell Savage of the Green Bay Packers has a one-on-one conversation at a free NFL clinic for youths at Chase Fieldhouse, Friday, June 17, 2022.

“They need this, and I believe it’s really cool to present those guys an additional edge to turn into that next Darnell Savage, Brian O’Neill, or Troy Reeder.”

Reeder and O’Neill went to highschool at Salesianum, while Savage went to Caravel Academy. Reeder began his college profession at Penn State before transferring to Delaware, while O’Neill went to Pittsburgh and Savage to Maryland. 

Brain O'Neill of the Minnesota Vikings throws passes at a free NFL clinic for youths at Chase Fieldhouse, Friday, June 17, 2022.

Now, they’re within the NFL. Savage was a first-round pick of the Packers in 2019, while O’Neill was the Vikings’ second-round pick in 2018. Reeder signed with the Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2019 before moving on to the Chargers in March.

“All of it just began with the love of the sport,” Reeder said. “Darnell was in eighth grade, I used to be a freshman (in highschool), Brian was a freshman, and we were in here because we desired to play on our highschool teams.”

Brian O'Neill of the Minnesota Vikings speaks at a free NFL clinic for youths at Chase Fieldhouse, Friday, June 17, 2022.

Savage, for one, said he could see a younger version of himself within the campers.

“It brought you back to a degree where you were at that age,” he said. “To see that’s where I began, everybody has a likelihood. You simply must stay the course and stay dedicated. Should you do the precise things, more often than not, things work out for you.

Darnell Savage of the Green Bay Packers participates in the vertical jump test at a free NFL clinic for youths at Chase Fieldhouse, Friday, June 17, 2022.

“Once you’re that age, you don’t really know what’s next. You simply go daily. That somebody is telling you don’t waste your opportunities, benefit from your opportunities, work hard, do good at school, all that form of stuff, it means quite a bit.”

It was the identical for O’Neill.

“Give them belief that athletes from Delaware have made it to the best levels, and encourage them to know that it is feasible,” he said.

The message resonated with the campers.

Darnell Savage of the Green Bay Packers speaks with a young football player at a free NFL clinic for youths at Chase Fieldhouse, Friday, June 17, 2022.

“They’re out of your community, they usually did what you ought to do,” said Mekhi Cannon, a rising senior linebacker at Caravel Academy. “They’re giving back … They got here through Titus and put that work in. That shows me that I gotta stay into it.”

The three NFL players had desired to do something like this for the past two years, but couldn’t due to COVID-19 pandemic. 

Brain O'Neill of the Minnesota Vikings (left) speaks with a young football player at a free NFL clinic for youths at the Chase Fieldhouse, Friday, June 17, 2022.

So that they were ecstatic to finally get that likelihood. And it is also why they plan to make it an annual event.

“With this turnout? Absolutely,” Savage said with amusing. “I don’t need to present any spoilers, but I’m all for it.”

Reeder and O’Neill said they felt the identical way.

Troy Reeder (left) of the LA Chargers looks on during drills at a free NFL clinic for youths at Chase Fieldhouse, Friday, June 17, 2022

Eagles add a security

The Eagles signed veteran safety Jaquiski Tartt to a one-year contract Friday. Tartt was the 49ers’ second-round draft pick in 2015, and he became a full-time starter two years later. In all, Tartt has played in 80 games, all with the 49ers. He has 4 profession interceptions.

Tartt is anticipated to compete for a starting job with Marcus Epps and Anthony Harris.

Contact Martin Frank at mfrank@delawareonline.com. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.

sportinbits@gmail.com
sportinbits@gmail.comhttps://sportinbits.com
Get the latest Sports Updates (Soccer, NBA, NFL, Hockey, Racing, etc.) and Breaking News From the United States, United Kingdom, and all around the world.

Related articles

spot_img

Recent articles

spot_img