RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) –Deep Run High School graduate Antone Exum Jr., who played football for Virginia Tech under Frank Beamer, could not wait to bring his NFL friends to his hometown Saturday afternoon for his “Bravehearts” football camp for kids.
“They’re sharing their knowledge with the kids, running around,” says Exum Jr., currently with the Minnesota Vikings.
He continued to point out during the camp’s lunch break, “[David Wilson] is doing back flips, catching balls and stuff. We just really want to give these kids a fun experience.”
This is the first camp Antone has held in the west end, and he expects to continue them so long as Deep Run will host them.
First year head coach Chad Hornik is invigorated and excited to take on the Deep Run football program, and the school is expressing the same enthusiasm from current students to alumnae. It was his call to Exum Jr. that made this football camp possible.
“When I reached out to Antone,” Coach Hornik explained,”it was great because the minute I did he was just all about it and he’s been on board ever since.”
Exum Jr. invited his teammates from his college days in Blacksburg and from his time in the NFL to join him and coach the kids, a list that includes: Tyrod Taylor (VT grad. / Buffalo Bills starting QB), Kendall Gaskins (Woodberry Forest, UR grad. / San Francisco 49ers RB), David Wilson (VT grad. / New York Giants RB), and B.W. Webb (W&M grad. / Tennessee Titans DB).
Tyrod Taylor speaks highly of his former Hokies teammate, “It’s always good to see a former teammate of mine, a good friend of mine give back to the community,” says the current Bills QB. “It shows you the type of teammate he is, shows you the type of friend he is for him to get on the phone and call guys, have them come back and support him, this is a great thing.”
Exum Jr. wants kids to remember to have fun playing football, and his lesson to kids about his “Bravehearts” motto, saying “I told them that what that means is you can do anything if you put your mind to it.”
Seeing how successful year one was for his new football camp, expect to see it return with more pros, more kids, and more excitement than before.