The 2016 NFL Scouting Combine was one to remember for every football fanatic from Ohio. From the hopes of finding a quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, or watching the 14 draftees from Ohio State perform at the most elite level yet. Being a native of Cleveland, Ohio, both of those reasons would’ve sufficed as to why I should’ve stayed updated on how things were going in Indianapolis. Until I got invited there myself. In the early weeks of the New Year, I was asked to speak at the NFL Combine on behalf of Fuel Up To Play 60. I spoke to Community Relation and Team Services personnel from various teams in the NFL in the Indianapolis Convention Center while the real show was going on right next door, in Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts.
Upon standing at the podium for my presentation, I had three full pages of a speech that I was determined to get through, by the end, I had used not a single sentence directly from those papers. During my presentation I spoke about why FUTP60 is such a vital partnership with their teams, what opportunities are given to both students and teams when they’re involved and how to enhance their experience with the program. I also gave a rundown of my history with the program and all the opportunities I’ve been given because of my involvement and the involvement of my hometown team, The Cleveland Browns. My lengthy monologue was accompanied nicely with a powerpoint showing the audience all that I’ve done with the program as well.
Along with this extraordinary opportunity of voicing my experiences first hand with the representatives there, I got to reunite with a familiar face I had met back at the FUTP60 Student Ambassador Summit in 2014. This person happened to be none other than, Super Bowl 50 champion, Team Captain and Safety for the Denver Broncos, David Bruton Jr. David is a cherished player representative for the program and spoke to the audience promptly following me about just that-his role and love for the program.
From the moment I walked into my hotel the night before, seeing a sea of NFL personnel in team logos from head to toe, and receiving hotel room key embossed solely for the NFL Combine, I knew this would be a special experience for a 15 year old, especially me. Just as I did in my presentation, I would like to close with praise to this program for the opportunities I’ve been given through it-especially this one, it takes the cake! (Some type of healthy cake, of course-if that exists?) Some of my favorite memories from my involvement thus far include speaking to audiences where I am undoubtedly the youngest in the room, just like this one!
Keep Fueling Up and Playing 60!
-Kid Reporter Avery