Giving Back: NC State Wolfpack Alums Conduct Football Clinic


Saturday, May 2, 2015, was a picture perfect day for some spring football.

The morning at Joseph S. Darling Memorial Stadium in Hampton, Virginia, started a bit chilly, but warmed as the day wore on. This was the site of the 5th Annual Legends Youth Football Camp 2015 hosted by former NC State standout Woodrow Wilson (’76-’79). Wilson, an All-American defensive back, played under then NC State Wolfpack head coach Robert “Bo” Rein. In 1979, Wilson was a member of the last NC State team to win an ACC conference title.

Photo courtesy of Adrian Williams

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As he has done the previous 4 years, Wilson enlisted former Wolfpack teammates and local area football coaches to help him put on a football clinic for youth 6-18 years of age. This year’s edition was a triumphant success.  Almost 150 kids participated in the event that lasted from 9:00am to around 3:30pm. The day was filled with everything from emotional pep talks, expert advice, technique and fundamental drills to free t-shirts and good food (fish and ribs).

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The roster of coaching talent consisted of former NFL players and all-time NC State greats. Former Minnesota Viking running back and legendary Wolfpacker Ted Brown headlined the A-list talent. Other standouts such as Simon Gupton, Bubba Green, Donnie Legrande, Jim Stowe, Lee Jukes, James Butler, Richard Carter, Sam Jackson, Lin Dawson, Buster Ray, Ray Harris, D. D. Hoggard and Vaughn Johnson all gave of their time and talents to help area youth.

Photo Courtesy of Adrian Williams

Ted Brown inspired the youth by telling them, “They told me I was too small and too slow.  I’m small, but I can get bigger.  I’m slow, but I can get faster.  Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.”

Photo Courtesy of Adrian Williams

Former tight end Lin Dawson said, “At the end of the day it ain’t about you, it’s about the God-given talents that you have and to stretch it further.  You gotta listen.  You gotta be disciplined.  You gotta concentrate.  You got the Creator fighting for you.”

Photo Courtesy of Adrian Williams

Buster Ray: “I can…I will…     Think about it. You can do anything.”

Vaughn Johnson:  “It takes effort to concentrate to get it right the first time.”

Photo Courtesy of Adrian Williams

Woodrow Wilson
Wilson, currently lives in Hampton, Virginia and works at Anheuser Busch.  He has two daughters and spends his afternoons mentoring youth and giving back to the community, some of this talents and experience to promising youngsters who have an interest in football.

The camp began 5 years ago when a friend asked Wilson if he would help raise money for Petersburg High School (VA). Wilson said he did it for two years, but quickly realized that many of the youth they were attempting to reach could not afford the $10.00 camp fee.   Wilson figured because he and other teammates were already footing much of the expenses, they might as well make the football camp free.   Ever since then, Wilson’s camp has been a hit to Hampton area youth.  Today, the camp has a few sponsors and a bevy of volunteers who help cook and cater to hungry and exhausted football players during breaks.

Photo Courtesy of Adrian Williams

Wilson summarized his camp’s goals as a vehicle to teach young boys and young men about character and how to conduct themselves.  How to  communicate, compete and share in camaraderie.  He said many of the kids already knew much of the fundamentals, but that his job was to instill confidence and discipline….and to let the kids know that someone out there cared about them.

Well done.

Next: Russell Wilson Addresses NC State Exit