MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A trailblazer in professional football was in town not just to teach the game, but also to provide important life lessons to kids in the Mid-South.
NFL legend Michael Vick came to Whitehaven High School to run his elite football camp with the best high school prospects in the area.
"It's about teaching, man. It's about the greater good of the game. It's about the future of the game," Vick said.
High school players with aspirations of reaching that elite level achieved by Vick during his four-time Pro Bowl and record-breaking career worked hard to get exposure and learn from one of the most gifted quarterbacks in his generation.
But the young players can also learn from his mistakes.
Ten years ago, Vick was serving a year and a half sentence in federal prison for his role in a gruesome dog fighting ring in which he admitted to being involved in the killing of several dogs.
After his release, Vick worked with the humane society to stop dog fighting, and he returned to the NFL.
He uses his story to teach life lessons.
"Most importantly, football isn't everything, education is. So we try to preach that too," Vick said.
"Big thing they can learn from him is perseverance dealing with adversity. A lot of these kids deal with some challenging situations in their home life. Challenges came and he came back and he fought and showed that if you stick with it, things work out for you," Whitehaven High School football coach Rodney Saulsberry said.
Vick is a man with so much football knowledge, but with possibly more to teach about life to the young men in Memphis who hope to achieve the success he enjoyed, and avoid his pitfalls.
"Don't lose your confidence. Things aren't always going to go your way. There's going to be a lot of hurdles that you're going to have to overcome--even in high school," Vick said.
"You can achieve no matter what your station is in life right now," Saulsberry said.
Vick said he loves to see the smiles on kids faces when he helps them at his camp. Memphis is one of 10 cities Vick is visiting with his camp this year.