JUSTIN, Texas — Not all NFL players have football camps, and some, understandably so, don't have them every offseason. However, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott makes his Metroplex youth football camp a yearly priority.
The two-time Pro Bowler held his third annual Citi Dak Prescott Football ProCamp in Partnership with Albertsons & Tom Thumb at Northwest High School, spanning two football fields' worth of drills and sportsmanship for boys and girls grades first through eighth.
"This is just such a grateful experience, thankful situation that I get to be a part of," Prescott said. "Use my platform for the right reason."
One of the ways Prescott used his platform was to mediate a conflict between two campers who got a little competitive.
"Two kids running into a name-calling deal and brought them together," said Prescott. "And just to hear both of their apologies and how detailed they were was impressive enough in itself. So, I don't know if I'll forget that right there alone. That was pretty impressive."
Prescott has had a heart to give back to the next generation of football players since he ascended to prominence at Mississippi State. Growing up in Haughton, La., the future 2016 fourth-round pick had zero opportunities to go to camps with big-name athletes such as himself. Even as far back as June of 2016 when Tony Romo was the Cowboys' franchise quarterback and Prescott competing with third-stringer Jameill Showers for reps, Prescott used what little platform he had to help out at then-Dallas cornerback Morris Claiborne's youth football camp at the Independence Bowl in Shreveport.
Said Prescott: "I didn't necessarily go to any camps like this, but to imagine if I did, to imagine looking up to a quarterback and being able to go to his camp and being able to take something from him, to be able to idolize him and want to be like the guy, I know how excited I would have been. To be on the other side of it is grateful."
What Prescott hopes his campers take away is the realization that no one can topple their dreams, and that he was the same regular person they are. He even encourages them to come take his job someday.
"Make sure these kids know that I'm no bigger or no different than they are and they can take my job one day or be a quarterback in the NFL," said Prescott. "So, just knowing that when I say that these kids it, they understand it, and it allows them to chase their goals chase their goals more realistically. I wouldn't be doing my part if I didn't."
Did you ever go to a youth camp as a kid? Share your camp experience with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.