Williams, other former Longview Lobos remember their beginnings by conducting football camp for East Texas youngsters
June 28, 2014 at 11 p.m.
There was a lot of talent on display Saturday morning at Lobo Stadium. And that's not including a large contingent of Lobos past and present at various stages of their football careers on hand to help at the annual Trent Williams Youth Football Camp.
Approximately 110 campers took to the field working on their skills under the tutelage of Williams, a two-time Pro Bowl selection for the Washington Redskins, and Chris Ivory, running back for the New York Jets.
"I love coming back and seeing all the young, raw talent in Longview," Williams said. "It reminds me of where I used to be."
For Williams, Saturday was more than just about football for the area youth, who got a helping hand from not only the pros like Williams and Ivory but from former Lobos Dorian Leonard (Texas), Zaycoven Henderson (Texas A&M) and Travin Howard (TCU), who were in town working the event.
"Just to come back and give these kids a goal to work toward on the field," Williams said. "But to give them life skills – stuff that I wish someone would have told me when I was younger."
The road to the NFL is a process, Ivory said, and it's one he was happy to help get started for the campers.
"It's great to be back out here with a fellow Lobo and childhood friend," he said. "Everybody has a different path. For a lot of these kids, it's a matter of what they choose to do with their time to excel out here. It's a process that they've got to stick with and I'm happy to help out."
Williams returned to Longview after his second-straight Pro Bowl nod with the Redskins.
"It was a great feeling again to be selected," he said. "I wish the season was a little better. After a 3-13 year, it was nice to have something to hold my head high about."
Heading into his fourth season, the Redskins will look to rebound from their worst season since 1994, but Williams said after a successful mini camp under new head coach Jay Gruden, there's a new atmosphere on the team.
"Minicamp was great – new coach, new vibe and there's a new structure up there," he said. "It's been good."
Ivory will begin his fifth professional season and second with the Jets this fall, and like Williams and the Redskins, a positive minicamp bodes well for the impending season.
"I'm loving New York – minicamp was great," Ivory said. "The team is looking good and we're looking to do big things this year."
With the recent acquisition of Chris Johnson, the Jets' backfield will be a stout one with Ivory, known for his physical running game, and the speed of Johnson.
"It's going to open up a lot of big runs I think – he brings another weapon to the team," Ivory said. "Not only that, we've added receivers and everyone is really familiar with what we're doing offensively. We've got a great chance to be successful this season."