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April 1, 2013

3

Devin Aromashodu Football Camp

by Max Strauss

Seven year NFL-veteran wide receiver, Devin Aromashodu gave back last week to his hometown, hosting an event for kids at his alma mater, Miami Springs Senior High School. In attendance were his friends and some of his former teammates, Vikings defensive players, Mistral Raymond, Fred Evans, Chris Cook, and Bears Tim Jennings and Major Wright came out to support. Bills DE, Mark Anderson and Lions S, Louis Delmas were also in attendance. Check out the article for exclusive interviews.

In early March, I heard about the Devin Aromashodu Football Camp in Miami Springs. Immediately, I knew I would attend and put together a post about the event. I was very excited for this opportunity. Many NFL players give back to their hometown. This was his third year of the football camp, and he has done a lot for the Miami Springs community as well.

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This graphic sums up the day at the Devin Aromashodu Football Camp.

How the Day Started:

The day started off with the kids registering for the camp. They all received free t-shirts, had an opportunity to get a raffle ticket for a signed Adrian Peterson jersey, and received free breakfast. I was extremely impressed by how many volunteers came out to support and help run this football camp, besides the coaches. Devin Aromashodu has given other people the opportunity to make an impact, and that is truly special. I was extremely pleased talking with all of the camp volunteers and finding out that most of them already were working and finished with college. Every person who was volunteering for the camp was a positive role model that the kids could follow.

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What Happened at the Football Camp:

The football camp consisted of warm-up laps, pep talks from wide receiver and host, Devin Aromashodu, and Pro Bowl cornerback, Tim Jennings. There was also a drill rotation station. I found the 40 yard dash drill interesting. The players were being coaches up on their stances, and also timed. One of the coolest parts about this drill was watching the NFL players take part and making it look very natural and easy. Devin Aromashodu joined little kids running and it was a lot of fun to watch the races.

Then there was a break for lunch, where players would join the kids for a bite to eat, and talk to them. After the free lunch, the players broke up into different groups to help coach players on technique and fundamentals of football.

To end the day in the most exciting way, they hosted numerous very competitive and heated 7-on-7 drills. During this time, the offensive lineman and defensive lineman were playing a one-on-one, who’s the best game, but the wide receivers and defensive backs seemed to be having the most fun. Seeing Lions safety, Louis Delmas become extremely competitive on the field was something of a joy to watch. He was one of the nicest players there, but when the 7-on-7 drills started, he showed his competitive nature and planned to teach kids how to be successful and focused on defense. The kids seemed to be having a lot of fun and were constantly smiling through the competition. They were not only learning from all of the pros, but also being motivated through various life lessons.

When camp ended, a few players gave speeches to help inspire the kids. They talked about the importance of staying in school and keeping it their main focus. One talked about how football can be used, and should be used to further your education. The kids really learned a lot from a day like this. The players than signed all of their  shirts from the players. Devin Aromashodu also has donated football jerseys to his school.

Devin Aromashodu Interview

Max Strauss : What are some differences between this year and the last two years you have done this?

Devin Aromashodu : It’s growing each year. We pretty much do the same thing. The kids come out and do drills. We then at the end do a little 7-on-7 competition at the end. The kids have fun. I am hopefully going to continue to grow this into something bigger, and hopefully, more players from South Florida will join me in what I’m doing.

Strauss : How much fun are you having?

D. Aromashodu : I’m having a great time. I love doing this. I always want to give back. I’m not the most out-spoken person. I really don’t speak much, but I have always said that I did want to give back to the community. I don’t remember people doing much of that when I was in school. That’s why I wanted to make sure that if I got the opportunity to do it, I would.

Strauss : Besides the football camp, what else have you done for your high school?

D. Aromashodu : I was able to donate some money to help them get new football uniforms for their varsity and junior varsity teams. It was a true blessing to be able to do that. I thank God for the opportunity to be in this position and to be able to do these things. I’m just happy, and I really want to see the kids smile. I like seeing them have fun. I’m enjoying this so much.

Strauss : How proud are you of your teammates who came out to help you and support you?

D. Aromashodu : I am definitely proud of them. They didn’t have to do it. They came down on their own. A lot of them don’t even live down here. Shout out to those guys who came down and who are spending their time and their offseason helping out.

Strauss : Is there something that you would attribute to your success, both on and off the field.

D. Aromashodu : Just hard work. I try to keep God first in everything that I do. That, and perseverance. It’s also important to keep people around you who are doing positive things. “Birds of a feather, flock together.” Eventually you’ll find something positive too. That’s why I accredit it too. Both God and the people around me, mainly my family.

Inkey Aromashodu Interview, Devin’s Father

Max Strauss : How do you feel as a parent that your son has put on a football camp, and this is his third year doing so?

Inkey Aromashodu (Devin’s Father) : As a parent, I am very proud of what he is doing. This is his third year of doing it over here at Miami Springs. He is doing this to help the community and help the kids stay out of trouble and stay focused.

Strauss : What was some advice that you gave him when he was young?

I. Aromashodu (Devin’s Father) : I always advised him to stay focused and stay out of trouble. I also told him that whatever he wanted to be in life, he would get there.

Bills DE, Mark Anderson Interview

Max Strauss : What made you come out here today?

Mark Anderson : Number one, it’s for the kids. I always want to help out with anything doing with the community. And another reason was because of Devin Aromashodu. I have known him for a while. We played against each other when he was at Auburn, and played with him in Chicago. We grew a nice bond of friendship throughout the years, and anything he has going on, I’m happy to help out. Like I said though, number one it is for the kids, first and foremost. We’re all having fun though.

Strauss : Did you have a similar experience when you were growing up?

Anderson : I really didn’t do football camps growing up. I was more of a basketball guy. I did a few basketball camps, but this is a good thing that Devin Aromashodu is doing. I’m enjoying and I can tell that the kids are enjoying it. We’re all trying to teach different techniques.

Bills DL, Fred Evans Interview

Max Strauss : What brought you out here today?

Fred Evans : Outside of football, Devin Aromashodu is one of my closest friends in life. He is doing a good thing for the community. He was an outstanding student-athlete down in Miami Springs. It would behoove me, not to come support one of my friends.

Strauss : How important is this experience for the kids?

Evans : It is very important. Sometimes, we do a lot of things and we forge that we are still professional athletes and that kids look up to us. You never know, the next superstar could be at this camp, right here in Miami Springs.

Strauss : Did you have a similar experience when you were growing up?

Evans : Yes. I actually used to attend Russell Maryland’s Camp in Chicago.

Bears DB, Tim Jennings Interview

Max Strauss : What brought you out here today?

Tim Jennings : It’s for the kids. It’s great being able to support them in Devin’s hometown, at his high school. He’s doing some good things for the community. It’s great to be able to give back to the kids in something that is football-related.

Strauss : What have you talked to the kids about today?

Jennings : I talked to the kids about the opportunity that they have. It’s a Saturday, they don’t have to be here. You got some great NFL players out here, and that they should take advantage of this opportunity. Learn everything you can learn. It’s a chance to get better. There are a lot of kids that are not out here, and so that is why the ones out here should take advantage and enjoy this opportunity today.

Strauss : Did you have anything similar when you were growing up?

Jennings : Yeah. I had a something similar. Some guys came back who were in the league. Donnie Abraham is hometown hero who played in the league for nine years. He’s actually a cousin of mine. Him and Deveron Harper. Those guys who were in the league gave back to the community. I was able to be a part of this growing up, so I know the advantage that this has.

Strauss : You made your first Pro Bowl this year. What do you attribute to success?

Jennings : It’s hard work. It’s never giving up. It’s trying to prove all of the doubters that I am here for a reason, and that I will be here for a while. With that, I have always wanted to come out and work hard. I want to enjoy it and have fun while I’m doing it. If you don’t have a passion for it, you won’t want to work at it. Staying healthy has also contributed to my success. But also, keeping God in my life and making sure he protects me. As long as I have fun doing this, it keeps me driving and motivated. I want to continue to do this as long as I can, and there is nothing that I would rather do than play football. I want to maximize every opportunity I have like when I’m training, I’m working hard. Then, when football season comes, I go out, have fun and wing it.

Bears S, Major Wright Interview

Max Strauss : What brings you out here today?

Major Wright : Devin Aromashodu. He’s a good friend and a good teammate. He’s a great person, and so I came out to help support him.

Strauss : How do you feel about the kids out here today?

Wright : It means a lot. At some point, I was a kid. I didn’t have camps like this. With me not having an opportunity like this, for me to come out and support and instill some good values into these kids, I’m willing to do it.

Strauss : What are some pieces of advice that you have given these kids?

Wright : For one, stay focused and stay motivated. They can do all things. I would make sure to tell them that make sure no one can say you can’t do it.

Strauss : You played in a D1 school, and then you played at a top level this past year. What has been the key to your success?

Wright : I would say, staying out of trouble, staying focused, and wanting it because if you want it, anything is possible.

Former NFL DL, Joshua Shaw Interview

Max Strauss : What made you come out here today?

Joshua Shaw : I was in town for business, and Fred Evans told me about the event. Devin and I played together when he was with the Raiders briefly in the beginning of his career. I decided to come out and support the kids and give a positive example.

Strauss : How has this day been for you?

Shaw : Well, the cab driver originally dropped me off at the wrong high school. He left before I realized, and I had to walk here which took a couple of hours… However, since I’ve been here, it’s been worth every second of walking in the hot Miami sun to get here.

Former LSU WR, Demetrius Byrd Interview

Max Strauss : Why did you come here?

Demetrius Byrd : I’m here to give back and have fun with the younger generation of inner-city kids. I’m happy to be here supporting Devin Aromashodu’s camp.

Strauss : How much fun did you have today?

Byrd : I had probably too much fun here today.

Recapping the Day

This day was great for the kids. I continued to see kids smiling and enjoying every aspect of being around these football players. Whether it was eating, talking to them, or running around, the kids constantly were smiling. What Devin Aromashodu’s Football Camp did for about about a couple hundred kids is impressive and noteworthy.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Apr 1 2013

    GREAT ARTICLE ! SEEMS like it was an AWESOME TIME

    Reply
  2. Apr 1 2013

    awesome…love to see players giving back like this. One question I wish you would’ve asked is, “Can you cover Devin or would he beat you?” to Jennings…of course, the answer would be “yes”…b/c Jennings went to a top-notch school!

    Reply
  3. Apr 2 2013

    how cool was this?

    Reply

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