We happen to share plenty of the negative stories surrounding college football players in the offseason, so it is refreshing to be able to share a positive story.
Kaiwan Lewis, a starting linebacker at South Carolina, took it upon himself to organize a free football clinic for the Pleasantville Jokers junior football league team. He rounded up some former high school teammates and opponents to help out for the worthy cause. Some of those who helped out with the clinic included Virginia outside linebacker Max Valles and Penn State linebacker Brandon Bell. In all, 20 kids between the ages of six and 14 took advantage of the opportunity to work on some football skills in the clinic.
“I played on the same field as a child, so I wanted to come back and show the kids that there is a way out, and the world is bigger than this community,” Lewis said, according to The Press of Atlantic City. “I’m not going to be somebody who just made it and forget where I came from.”
“We either had our dad or our older brother take us outside,” Bell said,” so this is definitely better than anything we ever had. Hopefully we can grow and make it a bigger thing each year.”
It is important to remember there are plenty of college football players doing good things out there to hopefully make a difference. This story is a reminder of just that.
Going into the 2014 season the Penn State roster is still considered to be thin on depth, an effect of the NCAA sanctions levied against the program two summers ago. Now the concerns on defense seem to be a bit more serious. Linebacker Ben Kline suffered a torn Achilles tendon. The injury could be season-ending according to Blue White Illustrated.
According to the report, Kline, a redshirt junior, is expected to miss significant time although the estimated timeframe is not known. A torn Achilles is no small injury to rebound from, and even when he is able to get on his feet and move, his mobility will likely be hindered for some time. This is a tough break for a player who has already worked through various injuries since joining the program.
Kline was expected to be a potential starting linebacker for the Nittany Lions this fall, but that looks to be out of the question for now. Kline’s 2013 season came to a premature end last November when a torn pectoral muscle sidelined him for the final games.
With Kline out of the picture, for now at least, Penn State has just four linebackers on scholarship with any playing time last season. Mike Hull, Nyeem Wartman, Gary Wooten and Branden Bell should all be at the top of the depth chart for now, but experience is extremely thin at a school with great pride in its linebacker lineage.