HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Several NFL players are back home in Alabama this weekend and a couple of them are right here in the Tennessee Valley.
Reggie Ragland is a name that many people here in North Alabama know; Ragland played for the Alabama Crimson Tide and now is playing in the NFL, but he also went to Bob Jones High School.
Ragland was back home in the 256 this weekend for his 2nd annual youth football camp; future football stars ages six through 18 got to come out and learn from the Kansas City Chiefs linebacker.
Ragland says his hometown gave him everything and now he’s blessed to be able to come home and give something back to his community by doing what he loves most: playing football.
“Just to give them the knowledge that I’ve learned over the years to help them become a better player or even become a better person on and off the field but it all starts off the field for you to be good on the field you’ve gotta have the grades, you’ve gotta be a good person, your coaches and they have to believe in you but it’s fun though seeing the kids out here having a great time,” Ragland said.
Another professional player was in Huntsville; Chester Rogers graduated from Lee High School and he held a backpack drive giveaway on Saturday.
The Indianapolis Colts wide receiver gave out backpacks to kids here in Huntsville to help them get ready for the school year. Rogers says during his process of getting to the NFL he always knew he wanted to come and help the community back home.
“It means so much that’s what keeps me going and the youth knowing that they’re looking up to me and I can come back and be able to put my hands on them and give back it’s such a heartwarming feeling,” Rogers said. “To be able to come back and give back and use my platform that’s really what I was raised on and I just wanted to come out here and give the kids something to look forward to.”
Heading south to Montgomery, former Alabama star OJ Howard took some lucky kids on a shopping spree at Dick’s Sporting Goods.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end says he wants to be an example for young boys and girls, and he says it doesn’t matter where you’re from if you’ve got a mindset that you want to be great then you can make it happen.
“Looking at me it’s just a small sample you know I want to give every kid the opportunity to know that they could do anything, not just football but just anything in life whether you’re from a small town or not just stay focused and put your mind to it and you can make it happen,” Howard said.