Pro Quarterback Honors High School Teammate

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It's almost here. You can't feel it in the weather quite yet but it's so close you can taste it! It's football season and it can't come soon enough. Whether you're a college or a pro fan, you know there's this seasonal switch that happens that simply makes the weekend better!

I got a teaser Saturday afternoon as I attended a local youth football camp as a guest of the host, Adrian McPherson. As if that wasn't enough icing on the cake, the camp was at the facility of my former Pop Warner team. Needless to say the smell of sweat, fresh cut grass, and Gatorade brought back extremely vivid memories.

I played football for nearly ten years. A statement that only professionals get to say, but it's true. My fourth grade through my senior year in high school. I was always one of the best players until high school came around. All of the sudden the average margin of speed and size increased greatly the summer before freshman year.

Size and speed might not have been my strengths, but I also went to a football powerhouse , so even though I was on the sidelines most of the time, I was on a winner. I remember the first time I saw McPherson on the field. We always had two-a-days a couple weeks before school actually started and there was this tall, lean transfer (or so I thought) quarterback throwing the ball 50 yards, flat-footed!

Whispers turned into words quickly making their way around the practice field. He's a freshman!?! He became an instant talking point. He spent his freshman year on the JV with me, a sophomore, and three other outstanding freshman receivers. I didn't play much because of those four, but they received Division I schools. I took my talents to Tempe.

I was so amazed with his athletic abilities then, but after watching him, lead, teach and coach those kids on Saturday, I have a entirely different level of respect for him. McPherson and his absolutely delightful girlfriend, who helps organize the camp created the Kevin Swan Courage Award this year. And as it turns out, the young man who won the award - his grandmother had ALS.

The entire day really was a so special. I am always grateful to anyone who recognizes the importance of determination and tenacity. It gives me goosebumps to think that some kid has an award, sitting on his dresser, with my name on it.