Tuesday, April 13th, 2021


NFL Players Inspire Local Youth at William & Mary

The chance to work with collegiate football coaches as well as NFL players draws over 300 kids to the College of William and Mary each year for the annual Colonial All-Pro Football Camp. Reaching youth from grade school to rising high school seniors, the camp introduces the youngest to the fundamentals while focusing on skill work with the older athletes. This year's NFL guests, brought to campus by Nike, were Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker, and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.

Each NFL player thoroughly enjoys working with youth, helping them focus on the fundamentals of the game while also hoping to make a difference in the children's lives. As Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks remarked, It's always great playing with kids. They're so innocent, they're so open to learn and they play the game the right way

Denver Broncos Wide Receiver Wes Welker

Wes Welker of the Denver Broncos takes a few minutes to speak to a group of campers on what it takes to succeed in athletics at any level

The younger kids attending the camp had fun going up against the volunteer coaches practicing their footwork around defenders

DJ Mangas, former Tribe football player and current running backs coach for W&M, demonstrates the proper way to perform the next drill

Broncos Wide Receiver Wes Welker has a captive audience as he talks to fellow wide receivers about succeeding on the field, even if they're not the biggest or fastest

From left: Broncos Wide Receiver Wes Welker, Camp Director (and Assistant Head Coach for W&M) Bob Solderitch, and Tribe Football Head Coach Jimmye Laycock

Wes Welker sends the younger groups on individual routes for a passing drill

A fan of this camper's color scheme (Broncos colors), Denver's Wes Welker throws a nice pass to connect with his fan

After each passing round with the groups of campers, all of the kids had a chance to celebrate their catches with Broncos Wide Receiver Wes Welker.

In addition to the pressure of catching a pass from NFL pro Wes Welker, some campers faced off against Camp Director and Tribe Assistant Head Coach Bob Solderitch.

As a former offensive lineman, Coach Solderitch normally works to help the receivers, but he enjoyed adding a layer to the drill from the defensive side as well. It's been a while since he played, so maybe Coach forgot he would get a flag for holding

Broncos Wide Receiver Wes Welker, having lost in the Super Bowl to the Seattle Seahawks this year, admitted to throwing a little harder to the campers in Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson jerseys.

Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman answered campers' individual questions when speaking to the older groups of campers

Used to picking the ball rather than throwing it, Seattle's Richard Sherman winds up as the younger campers run their routes

Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman celebrates on behalf of his receiver as the camper fully commits to bringing down the ball and completing the pass

The campers were all thrilled to have the chance after their drills to run up and high five one of their NFL favorites

Some campers had the rare opportunity to actually run a route against Richard Sherman, one of the top cornerbacks in the league. Here Richard was reminded not to underestimate his opponents based on their size as one of the younger campers beat him on his route!

Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman exchanged passing the ball for defending the young receivers, making them earn every pass they caught

Even a rookie would know there's a flag on this play, but the camper didn't seem to mind Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman's holding

Some of the young campers ran their routes well against Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman, making him work for it out on the field

Picking out the camper showing of Denver Broncos colors (the team Richard Sherman helped the Seattle Seahawks defeat in the last Super Bowl), Richard Sherman thought he could defend this camper even with his back turned. The mini Broncos fan was up for the challenge.

Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman coached a few of the campers on the technique for the famous

Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman took the opportunity to coach a few of the players on their defensive tactics. He taught the defender's stance before tossing it up for the camper running the receiver's route.

All of the campers made sure to get their chance to meet and share a high five with Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman.

Coached by Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman to keep his eye on the receiver, not the ball, the camper on defense did just that as his opponent ran his route with determination.