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Najee Harris’ 1st Annual Youth Football Camp Was A Big Hit At His High School Alma Mater

Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The Chronicle

Najee Harris’ 1st Annual Youth Football Camp Was A Big Hit At His High School Alma Mater

Najee Harris went to high school in Antioch, CA and held his first annual youth football camp at Antioch High School on Saturday. The camp was for ages 6-18 years old and was split into two different sessions. The morning session was for ages six to 12 and the afternoon was reserved for ages 13 to 18. The camp was put on by DA’ Bigger Picture Foundation.

“Da’ Bigger Picture Foundation focuses on assisting underserved families in reaching their potential and goals. The Foundation hope is to provide tools and assistance to families facing challenging times. Some of the key areas of focus will be education, homelessness, addressing hunger and utilizing sports as a platform to develop life skills.”

Marshawn Lynch, Alex Leatherwood, Josh Johnson and fellow NFL second year player and high school teammate of Harris at Antioch High from the New York Jets, Isaiah Dunn joined more than 300 participants in what appeared to be a highly entertaining and educational experience for all who attended. Brett Dudley, the newly named head coach at Antioch and his prep staff helped round out the counselors at the 1-day camp.

Mitch Stephens who attended the camp shared the following on Twitter:

Harris really seems to be enjoying himself and his role coaching up the youth football players. Based on Antioch’s recent history of success of churning out NFL players, maybe someday we will flash back to this camp as one of these youngsters first step on a path to NFL stardom. Dudley shared:

“This was great for the community,” Dudley said. “[Harris] is the most popular kid to come out of the Bay Area in decades and he’s pretty universally loved. These kids idolize him and he’s truly a hero to them.”

Harris got started early in engaging in philanthropy. You might recall he declined to attend the 2021 NFL Draft in person and instead hosted his own draft party at the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program, a homeless shelter where he spent part of his childhood. He also made the trek to Mexico City to announce the Steelers fourth round pick in 2022 and obviously enjoyed himself spending time with the crowd that had gathered to watch him announce it. The Steelers halfback is fast becoming a top notch ambassador for the Steelers brand and is demonstrating the qualities that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin sees in the young man.

You can watch the entire interaction on Twitter here where he was asked how he felt about Tomlin calling him a natural born leader:

“You know, I mean it’s always good to get that type of acknowledgement from somebody like Mike T and even the guys in building, like to let me be in that position to be that type of person. I appreciate all of them.”


Steelers HC Mike Tomlin Identifies Najee Harris As The New Leader On Offense, Credits Cameron Heyward For Transition


Steelers Harris Camp

Marshawn Lynch. Photo by Trina Gallegos

Lynch is also an alumnus of Antioch High and has acted as a mentor to Harris for several years. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Lynch had become like an older brother to Harris and the two have a close friendship. Harris picks his friends and mentors wisely. He works out with Adrian Peterson and his staff in the Houston area and has formed a relationship with Lynch. The pair are arguably the best running backs not named Derrick Henry in the 21st century. Henry is a fellow Alabama alumni like the Steelers halfback, and something tells me that they have probably shared a text message or two over the years. Part of being successful is surrounding yourself with successful people and he certainly has done that.

Najee Harris Camp

Twitter: @aaronmiller23

Harris seems intent on giving back to the community and spending time with kids to mentor and develop them. He was committed to this path coming out of college, but it is nice to see him following in Cam Heyward’s and a long line of Steeler players who have given back to the community without fanfare. Too often, the NFL reports on the bad news surrounding the young men who make a living in a sport that too often denies them of long careers and in too many cases shortened lives. The players know the risks and while the NFL is doing everything they can make the game safer, it is still a contact sport. Harris, unlike the very small percentage of players the national media focuses on, seems intent on doing good things with the gifts he has been blessed with on the football field. I am sure as a red-blooded young man, he likes to have a good time, but seeing the smile on his face in these videos, he may have a different definition of what a good time should be for an NFL player in the off-season.

 

What do you think, Steeler Nation? Is Najee Harris becoming your favorite Steeler? If not, who is your favorite on today’s team. Please comment below or on my Twitter @thebubbasq.

I have been rooting for the Steelers actively since 1975. I love the Black and Gold and support them through thick and thin. I am a Navy Veteran, living in Jacksonville, FL and never miss a chance to go to the neutral site games here in Jacksonville. I am new to the Steeler Nation website, but I love discussing Steelers Past, Present and Future.

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  1. Pingback: Mike Tomlin and Steelers Teammates Continuing to Give Najee Harris the Confidence he Needs to be the Bona Fide Leader in 2022 - SteelerNation.com

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