Avonte Maddox's return to Detroit goes well beyond a typical homecoming.
Sure, he'll have plenty of family members and childhood friends in attendance to watch him play, but he's also purchased tickets for every member of Detroit's Martin Luther King High School's football program to attend Sunday's game. The gesture is merely a small way for Maddox to give back to his alma mater.
"All the time that my coaches in high school put in for me to the point of traveling to different states to get me exposure to colleges, they don't have to do that," Maddox told the media Thursday. "They're not our fathers, but they took the time out of their day to do it and that meant a lot to me, so whenever I can give back, I'm willing to do so and help as much as I can."
However, that is only the beginning.
It wasn't that long ago that Maddox was in the same position the current members of King's football program are in right now — growing up in a tough, hard-working city where there are plenty of pitfalls awaiting. But Maddox believes that they should aspire for more, and they don't have to look any further than the fourth-year Eagles cornerback as an example.
"It's a chance to show my hometown that all the hard work I've been putting in to get where I'm at now, and hopefully I can come out with a win and show the kids that there's a chance and opportunity for kids in Detroit to make it out," Maddox said during the latest episode of the Eagles Insider podcast.
Maddox has a deep-rooted love for his hometown. He purchased a home there and even sports a Lions tattoo on his left arm — a tattoo he received long before he aspired to become a professional football player.
That unconditional love has created a desire for Maddox to give back, starting Sunday with the tickets and eventually evolving into youth football camps and becoming more active in his community overall.
Until that happens, he gives advice to the youth who reach out to him via social media. His advice is usually the same: Create a vision of where you want to go in life.
"You got to have a good system and not just the people around you, but yourself," Maddox explained. "You have to know where you want to go, where you want to be in the future. What do you want to do in the future?"
It's nothing different from what Maddox's family instilled into him as he was growing up.
"I always had a good support system with my family back at home and I had a good friend group back at home as well," Maddox added. "I made sure I stayed out of trouble and if trouble was around, I tried to stay away from it."
Maddox will have the important task Sunday of helping the Eagles attempt to snap a two-game losing skid on the football field, but his potential effect on Detroit's youth watching one of their own live out his dream is much bigger than football.