Game Changer was the theme, and Lowndes High School was the scene for Telvin Smith's annual free football and cheer camp.
There were 215 energetic kids bouncing off the walls of Martin Stadium.
The most excited of the bunch stood 6 '3".
"I think that's something that we all forget at times, that inner-child that's within us," said Telvin Smith at his annual Valdosta Game Changer Youth Day. "So I just come out here and let it loose man. I love the game so that's what they're getting."
Smith is fresh off a season where he led the Jaguars in solo tackles (98).
The kids in Valdosta admire him, and he doesn't take that for granted.
"I started here, and many wouldn't even believe it, but look where I am now," said Smith. "That's what I try to preach to them."
He wasn't alone in sharing the message.
Fellow Lowndes alum, and current New England Patriot, Kenny Moore sewed a similar confidence into the campers.
"Anything you put your mind to, you're capable of doing it."
Also returning to his former stomping grounds, Raiders defensive back Kenneth Durden sacrificed his July 4th weekend for the kids as well.
"Last year I couldn't make it. I was a little upset so I feel good today," said Durden. "Coming out here helping the kids, teaching the kids fundamentals."
"You see that it's guys out here with pure hearts," said Smith of his NFL friends and volunteer coaches. "And they're doing this for the right reason. It's not for themselves, it's not for money, and it's not for fame or anything like that. They just really love where they come from."
They got a full four hours in the blazing heat.
And still--the only thing more intense than the sun rays was the energy from hometown hero, Telvin Smith.
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