Robert Griffin III hosted local students at his second annual Friday Night Lights Football Camp with players and coaches on Friday in Washington, D.C.
Robert Griffin III wanted to make sure he was helping those truly in need when he originally sat down to plan out his annual "Friday Night Lights" camp.
As he considered several different locations to hold his camp for area kids ranging from ages 6 to 18, he ultimately landed on Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C.
Redskins QB Robert Griffin III hosted local students at his 2nd annual Friday Night Lights Football Camp with players and coaches in Washington D.C. on Friday, June 5, 2015.
"Not a lot of people want to come down to Southeast D.C.," Griffin III said. "And we want them to know that they're not forgotten. We'll come out of our way and put our time in to come back and give to these kids, and this is the perfect spot for it."
Along with getting on-field instruction from the players, each participant received new cleats, socks, shorts and a shirt.
Joining Griffin III were teammates from all sides of the ball. Among those in attendance were fellow quarterback Hutson Mason; running backs Chris Thompson, Silas Redd Jr., Trey Williams and Alfred Morris; fullback Darrel Young; tight ends Niles Paul, Je'Ron Hamm, Chase Dixon, Devin Mahina and Logan Paulsen; wide receivers Pierre Garçon and Ryan Grant; offensive linemen Brandon Scherff, Arie Kouandjio and Takoby Cofield; defensive linemen Chris Baker, Kedric Golston and Terrance Knighton; linebackers Preston Smith, Martrell Spaight, Houston Bates and Terrance Plummer; cornerback Tevin Mitchel; safety Kyshoen Jarrett and kicker Ty Long.
Team legends Joe Theismann and Darrell Green were also involved throughout the evening.
Paul, who guided kids through different obstacles then acted as a simulated tackler, said he never had the chance to interact with professional athletes growing up in Nebraska.
"Nope, never, never had the chance," he said. "There wasn't a lot of professional athletes to come out of Nebraska and came back and held a camp. Hopefully I can do my own camp one day, [but] obviously it's a privilege to be out here with these kids and have a good time."
Morris was like Paul, as the closest professional team to him while living in Florida was in an entirely different state.
"I really didn't do any camps honestly," he said. "We didn't have programs like this, so it's kinda cool to be in an NFL city or be near an NFL city that you can do these type of things. The closest team to us was actually the New Orleans Saints, two and a half hours away, but they weren't coming to Pensacola to do a camp. So I never got the opportunity, but I'm just glad that with some of these kids we can give them the opportunity like this because it'll change their life forever."
Scherff, who was one of 15 rookies who attended both the Military Appreciation BBQ at the USO Warrior and Family Center and "Friday Night Lights" camp on Friday, was stationed near the corner of the north end zone at Anacostia's football field, helping kids with one-on-one drills.
As he played the role of quarterback while standing next to the line of eager campers, excited for their change, Scherff couldn't help but notice how happy they were to be there.
"It's an incredible day," he said. "Just trying to give back and enjoy the moment of it and just see these kids smile and have fun, that's all it's about."
Theismann, who Griffin III invited to represent the Redskins' Alumni, said what the kids learned Friday night will be important down the road.
"Well first of all, I think Robert does so many wonderful things in the city," Theismann told Larry Michael, Voice of the Redskins. "I'm flattered to be here with him to help him with this mini-camp tonight. …I do remember when I went to [a camp]. It's an influential part of our lives, because interestingly enough, so many of the fundamentals that you learn at this stage at a place like this, you carry forward for the rest of your life as you get to high school and to college, and then hopefully to professional football."
Griffin III also wanted to make sure the kids in attendance understood what players like Theismann and Green did while wearing the burgundy and gold.
"They're the guys that we looked up to [and] we want to win championships just like them," he said. "And to have them here means a lot to me personally, but even to these kids. They've got to know their history and the history of the Washington Redskins."
Towards the end of the evening as he watched his teammates run through drills with the final group, Young said it's important for the players to build a bond away from Redskins Park.
Friday night did just that.
"That's what the winning teams have, they have a foundation, guys who actually care about each other and they have each other's backs," he said. "This is the start to something good hopefully."