GREEENVILLE, S.C. — When he was growing up Amari Rodgers use to attend as many football camps as he could, especially when he got the opportunity to go to a camp of a professional football player.
“Every time somebody had a camp like this, I was there,” the former Clemson wide receiver said. “I looked up to guys like that because they were the examples. So, me just being an example now is a blessing.”
Rodgers used to go the camps of University of Tennessee players like Todd Kelly, Jr., and Minnesota Viking Harrison Smith, a native of Knoxville, Tenn.
“Guys like that were just good examples for me,” said Rodgers, who is the son of former Tennessee quarterback Tee Martin.
Now it is time for Rodgers to be the example to the youth of Clemson football. Though he is getting ready for the NFL Draft, where he is projected by some to be a second-round pick, the All-ACC receiver took the time to host his own instructional camp on Saturday at the Kroc Center in Greenville, S.C.
“This means a lot to me. Just giving back to the fans of Clemson,” he said. “They have supported me throughout my whole career, so this is the perfect opportunity to give back to them for all the support they gave me throughout my career.”
Rogers just finished up a career at Clemson that saw him help the Tigers win a national championship and four ACC titles. This past year, he led the ACC with 77 receptions for 1,070 yards and seven touchdowns.
The main advice Rodgers gave to the hundred or so kids who attended his camp on Saturday was to have fun and do what they love to do more than anything else.
“Just coming out here and bringing that energy and letting them see it every time you come out on the field. It is about having fun,” he said.
Rodgers said he never gave up on his dreams and he worked hard to make them come a reality. Now, in 12 days, he will get a chance to live out his dream with the NFL Draft. For the former Clemson star, this entire process, including Saturday’s camp has been surreal.
“It is very surreal to be honest,” he said. “I never thought it would be this soon and now that it is here, it is a blessing. To be honest. I am looking forward to having many more opportunities like this.”
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