Springfield native, NFL star hosts football clinic for local kids | News
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — Western Mass News is your Local Sports Authority.
A thrilling day for many local football players after getting to spend the day with an NFL player who grew up right here in the city of Springfield.
Football players from western Mass. huddling up at Springfield Central High School, with the gloves out and cleats on. But Friday’s workout was a little bit different this time around.
“I’m from Springfield, played for the Raiders, when I was young and everything, now that I am where I am, now that I’m in the NFL, it’s something that I always wanted to do, to come back and give back to the community,” Springfield native and NFL player Christian Wilkins said.
Wilkins returned to his stomping grounds. The Springfield native is now a defensive end for the Miami Dolphins, but before reporting to training camp on Wednesday, he made a pit stop home to hang out with these guys.
“That’s one thing I definitely wish we had more of, guys just trying to come back and do positive things, and that’s why I’m here, to be an influence because the next guy who comes through and makes it out of Springfield and do great things. I want them to come back and pay it forward and continue to support our community,” Wilkins said.
But if you pay it forward, you may pay a price, and a little trash-talking comes with it.
“The biggest thing, I just let them know, We talk a little trash; no I’m joking, I’ve been having a lot of fun with the kids. I let them know the biggest thing is hard work,” Wilkins explained.
The former Clemson star athlete showing just that from skills and drills to competitions. Wilkins said his insight into how he got to where he is today.
“Really be passionate about what you do; it’s hard to get up early and do those things that you need to do. So those are the things I try to tell the kids and share with them among their journeys,” Wilkins said.
To make this more exciting, you’ll be able to catch Wilkins and the Miami Dolphins in their first game of the season against our very own New England Patriots on September 12.