Hometown Hero Gives Back to the Community
By Marcel Caldwell
On a 95-degree day in June, 110 young football players from various backgrounds gathered at the University of Tulsa’s H.A. Chapman Stadium for the Felix Jones’ Go Hard Football Academy.
Felix Jones, a running back for the Dallas Cowboys who was born in Oklahoma City and raised in Tulsa, wrote a letter to the camp participants and said, “I decided to create this free life skills football camp because I recall needing support as I pursued my goal of playing Division I football when I graduated from high school in 2005. I also feel it is necessary to give backshare my most recent experiences as a professional football player with the Dallas Cowboys.”
Jones added that there were two main objectives of the football camp. First, he wanted to help the participants fulfill their athletic goals. Second, he wanted to stress the need to focus on academics and life skills needed to advance from high school to college.
“It feels good to make a positive impact on the kids in the camp,” Jones said Saturday after his pep talk to the young football players.
The football Academy was sponsored by the Running Back to Make A Difference Foundation, a non-profit organization with a mission to, “inform, inspire, and empower Tulsa inner-city youth to\ become well-rounded and productive citizens of their communities.” It also incorporated the necessary tools to succeed beyond high school, discussions on NCAA eligibility, the importance of academics, and choosing the right career paths.
Some of the coaches and celebrity athletes who helped with the camp included professional and college football players, including: Dominique Franks of the Atlanta Falcons, Gerald McCoy of’ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Frank Summers of the San Diego Chargers, and Darren McFadden of the Oakland Raiders.
Football Academy administrator and
close friend of Jones, Adrian Bradley was very confident the camp would be a
success. “The camp gets better every
year.” Bradley said. “It gets more and more popular every year. Hopefully it
will reach the level of the Grammys, only for Tulsa.”
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