After such a difficult loss in Minneapolis on Thursday night, Washington Redskins tailback Alfred Morris could have been most anywhere Sunday afternoon. But, rather than be home resting for Philadelphia, Morris traveled to Mechanicsville to host and lead the “Alfred Morris Football Camp” presented by the USO and Boys and Girls Clubs.
Morris spent the afternoon on the Lee-Davis High School football field, leading drills, throwing passes, and connecting with underprivileged children from across Central Virginia.
It was a story he could relate to.
“I was an underprivileged child growing up in Pensacola, Florida. I played football with the Salvation Army growing up,” Morris noted. “I can definitely relate to them. They may not have much, but they’re chasing a dream. And I wanted more out of life, for my dreams to become reality. So I’m here to help these kids realize they don’t have to accept where they are now. There’s much more to life than that.”
It’s been a meteoric rise for the 24-year old from Florida Atlantic University. He was drafted by the Redskins in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, earning a roster spot in the final days of his rookie preseason. By year’s end, he broke the team’s single-season rushing record with 1,613 yards, helping send Washington to the playoffs.
Morris has rushed for 825 yards and five touchdowns, and finds his team where they were exactly a year ago, with a 3-6 record, in need of a late-season charge to make the postseason.
“Doing it two years in a row in the NFL (making the playoffs after a 3-6 start), I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s not going to be easy,” Morris opined. “We’ll take it one day at a time and see what happens.”
But on this sunny, breezy Sunday, Morris placed the pursuit of the playoffs aside for a few hours, relished his role as a leader and role model for the next generation, leading well over 100 kids in a variety of running and passing drills, relay races, and other activities.
Sponsored by Kroger and Proctor and Gamble, the camp gave Morris an opportunity to remind Richmonders the Redskins want to be a part of the community year-round, not just during their annual three-week stay for training camp at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center.
But more importantly, his main message to the children, ranging from first to eighth grades, was fun, and simple.
“If I can do it, you can do it, too,” Morris said with a big smile.