MACON COUNTY, Ga. — It was the second camp that Macon County native and current NFL player Roquan Smith hosted in Central Georgia. He spent some quality time teaching younger football players the ins and outs of being an elite athlete.
"It's very amazing for them. A lot of these kids have never seen a professional football player unless it was on TV. So, for him to come back home and do this camp and give back to the community is awesome," Coach Dexter Copeland said.
Smith starred on the field as a Macon County Bulldog in his prep days before finishing a stellar career in Athens with UGA as the Butkus Award winner for the nation's top linebacker.
This led him to being drafted in the first round of the NFL by the Chicago Bears and Smith wants to share his experience with his hometown.
"This is what you do it for, to show them and set a good example. Because I was once in their shoes. Some kids would love to have a pro player do a camp and things like that so I just think from that perspective. I'm just grateful to be out here with the coaching staff and other players it's just a great opportunity," Smith said.
More than 200 student-athletes attended the 3-hour camp of drills and showcased their skills under the hot Georgia sun learning from some of the best in the game.
"I have my guys, Joshua woods, who played with me in Chicago. I have my guy Jarvis Wilson, who played with me at UGA. A couple of guys from GTech so just a wide variety of guys," Smith said.
The weekend was one to remember for the campers in attendance but also for the host.
After the work on the gridiron, Macon County retired the jersey of Smith, again cementing a legacy for number 1 in the town that made him and he was happy to be a blessing for the next big thing possibly to emerge from Macon County.
"Just hard work can take you anywhere in life. Not just on the football field but in life in general plus hard work in the classroom. So, somethings we can instill in them out here to help them in life," Smith said.
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"It's just a tremendous honor to be here back home in Central Georgia with my roots to celebrate and enjoy time with the kids it's a tremendous honor," he said.