It is has often been said that when a South Florida high school football player leaves this area – he will always hold with him a special place for the #305 and #954.
That was more than evident as the NFL offseason draws to close – and the athletes return home to see friends and families before the rush of the season. But while they are down in this area, they find a way to give back to those who gave so much to their respective careers – some from as far back as youth leagues.
Dozens of South Florida brothers, bonded by football and playing it at the highest level, returned to give back this past week.
Whether it was one time Killian and University of Miami star running back Lamar Miller, who was part of the Backpack Giveaway; Northwestern and the University of Miami’s Sean Spence, who hosted a camp; former Norland Viking Xavier Rhodes, NMB products E.J. Biggers, Johnathan Cyprien & Kemal Ishmael or Monsignor Pace product, Kayvon Webster, who made those promises come true when many left after high school.
“This is what makes it all worth everything,” said Webster, who won the 2016 Super Bowl with the Broncos. “We were here not so long ago, in the places of these youngsters, so yes, dreams do come true.”
Webster didn’t mince words when he and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, both spoke at his Betty T. Ferguson Sports Complex event in Northwest Miami-Dade. Both he and Rosenhaus laid down the truth of what it takes to make it in the NFL.
“You need to follow a path like Kayvon has – using athletics and academics to pay off for you,” Rosenhaus said. “He is a success – in every standpoint of his life – he is making it all come together.”
With former high school teammates and coaches on hand to help him get this event off the ground, kids of all ages learned and had fun.
Webster grew up in Miami, and after graduating Pace, he went to attend the University of South Florida. In 2013, he was drafted in the 3rd Round by the Denver Broncos.
In addition to Rhodes (Minnesota Vikings), others that came out to join in included former University of Miami standout Ray-Ray Armstrong (San Francisco 49ers), Will Parks (Denver Broncos), Demarcus VanDyke and Indianapolis Colts’ rookie linebacker Anthony Walker to name a few.
Sean Spence, current Indianapolis Colts Linebacker, is hosting a Free Youth Football camp in his hometown of North Miami Beach on Saturday July 8th. Sean grew up in South Florida and attended Miami Northwestern High School and the University of Miami before being drafted to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2012 in the 3rd round.
Rosenhaus also joined Spence on Saturday at his Northwestern Camp where he had NFL players and UM alum, including, Allen Bailey (Chiefs), Travis Benjamin (Chargers), Davonte David (Buccaneers), Denzel Perryman (Chargers) and more.
NMB STARS GIVE BACK
Once again, Rosenhaus and his tremendous team, including one-time Southridge, University of Miami and NFL standout Robert Bailey, came out to North Miami Beach, mix with a few clients and have the opportunity to talk with Chargers head coach Jeff Bertani.
But this day was about NMB graduates and NFL standouts E.J. Biggers, Johnathan Cyprien & Kemal Ishmael, who all gave back to the Chargers and the City of North Miami Beach.
Biggers (Western Michigan), Cyprien (FIU) and Ishmael (UCF) had dozens of youngsters show up and show out at the camp.
“This is great to give back,” said Biggers. “These kids will always remember it – much like we did.”
Cyprien was also the center of attention – as Bertani and his 2017 team helped to work the camp. This is important for someone who has always wanted to give back to the community.
“Hosting something like this with great guys, Coach Bertani and families is what NMB football has always been about,” Cyprien said. “Today is no different than when we left. That’s a culture for these athletes to follow and enhance.”
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