New Orleans -- Falcons Linebacker and former LSU stand-out Deion Jones was back in New Orleans Saturday, to host his first Youth Football Camp in his hometown.
“I remember being this age and going to camps and stuff like that," Jones said. "I just wanted to and had the opportunity to give back to my community—where I grew up and played park ball. We’ll get a feel for it and build from here.”
“This is something that Debo’s wanted to do since we signed him as a client," said Jones' agent Drew Rosenhaus. "It’s his idea. He loves his hometown. He loves New Orleans. Every time he comes back he wants to contribute in some capacity.”
Alongside Debo helping with the camp, were more former Tigers-- also from New Orleans and Louisiana—all just as eager to share their love of the game with these kids.
“It’s just awesome," said Carolina Panthers Guard Trai Turner. "We were these kids one day at one point in time, and it’s just awesome to get out here, have some fun with them, throw a few footballs around and spread some knowledge about the game.”
“These guys want the same hope that was given to us," said Seattle Seahawks Wide Receiver Cyril Grayson. "We’re just an example that it can happen. It’s great for them to see us and know that we’re real people.”
The LSU brotherhood in the NFL runs deep—as shown by the support for Deion’s camp.
“It’s a great privilege to help the youth—especially with Deion," said Pittsburgh Steelers Offensive Tackle Jerald Hawkins. "He’s a great hometown guy. He’s always got a smile on his face and always willing to help people, so it feels wonderful to be out here.”
“Guys who put blood, sweat and tears on the field for this state are coming back out to my community," Jones said. "Guys that I played with and having them come out and support is awesome.”
And who knows, we may be looking at more future NFL players. As these guys will tell you, there’s no shortage of football talent in New Orleans.
“I’m a St. Augustine guy so I think we have all the talent," Turner said. "But I would just say I think it has something to do with the water. I don’t really know the reason but I know we get a lot of ballers from this way.”