Kansas City students get a football master class from some of the NFL Draft’s biggest prospects
Students from Central Middle School got to practice with star college football players as they prepare for the NFL Draft.
The star college football players who will take the stage in Kansas City later this week for the NFL Draft took a detour to Central High School on Wednesday morning to teach students to block, catch and improve their footwork.
London Watson, an eighth grader at Central Middle, gave his experience practicing with the players a high score.
“Out of a 10, I'd probably say 100 because this is really cool, meeting new people and upcoming prospects,” Watson said.
Watson plays track, basketball and football, but says track and football are tied for his favorite. He said he wants to be a running back because of his speed and footwork. He drilled against NFL prospects at Wednesday’s clinic.
“We got to hit him a little bit with the pad and I was like putting all my strength into it,” Watson said.
Watson said the prospects gave students tips on school and talked to them about where they go to college, in addition to teaching football skills.
Brian Branch, safety for the Alabama Crimson Tide, said he loved being able to interact with the kids at Central and see them have fun.
“A lot of these kids, a lot of people look up to us, and I feel like they watch us and in a way they want to get to where we at,” Branch said. “Just being able to come out here and give them hope — that's what it's all about.”
Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Jennifer Collier said she hopes students apply what they’re learning from athletes to their future.
“I'm hoping that they are inspired as they see these athletes looking at their hard work, their dedication, their commitment," Collier said. “But also understanding and knowing that you can be successful as an athlete, both in the classroom and in your sport.”
The school district will shift to virtual learning for the next two days. Collier said there were concerns the additional traffic and people in Kansas City would add pressure to the district’s stressed transportation system. An estimated 300,000 fans are expected to attend the NFL Draft at Union Station.
Collier said the district looked into providing childcare through partner organizations, but many are facing the same challenges.