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NFL stars return to Springfield for youth football camp

NFL stars return to Springfield for youth football camp
Published: Jun. 12, 2022 at 6:38 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Miami Dolphins’ Defensive Tackle Christian Wilkins is back in Springfield hosting a youth camp. His goal is to give back to his community with the sport he loves.

“There’s nothing that gives me more joy than being able to give back and serve others,” Wilkins told Western Mass News.

Christian Wilkins may be a defensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins, but for him, he looks at coming back to Springfield as being a role model for young boys who look up to him.

“I like that and I like that pressure,” he said. “I feel like it’s my responsibility to be the example and show kids how it’s done, try to do the right things.”

The youth camp was about doing offensive and defensive drills, and Wilkins even had his friend Austin Bryant, the defensive end for the Detroit Lions, come. They met playing college ball at Clemson University.

“Been knowing Christian now going on what, six or seven years,” Bryant told us. “One of my best friends, great person, awesome personality, really cares about these kids and his community.”

Many of the camp-goers here are inspired by the fact someone from Springfield made it to the NFL and came back to give back to the community.

“I look up to him a lot,” said camp-goer Xathiel Rosado. “Since I was younger, I always saw him growing up playing football and I looked up to him a lot.”

Words of advice Wilkins has for the next NFL star out of Springfield:

“One thing I’ve always been able to prioritize, understand what goal it is I want and how I’m going to get there,” Wilkins told us. “I always put that first. Just always worked hard, outworked everybody, and you know, that’s kind of just my mindset.”