Jeremy Maclin is one of the most inspirational stories on the Philadelphia Eagles. He will share his story and hope to provide a positive example for kids at his inaugural youth football camp which runs through Wednesday at the RiverWinds Community Center in West Deptford, N.J. Children can register at JeremyMaclinFootballCamp.com.
"We hope to inspire the kids to follow their dreams and put in the work necessary to have them become a reality," Maclin said. "They may not have had the easiest path to get there but dreams come true with hard work and by surrounding yourself with good people. I am a living example of that."
Maclin's childhood was far from perfect as he was abandoned by his father and eventually taken in by his youth football coach. Basically, if you've seen the movie or read the book, "The Blind Side," it was not that much different than Maclin's upbringing. The Parres family, who took Maclin in, was present at Maclin's introductory press conference after he was the Eagles' first-round pick in 2009 out of Missouri.
After two impressive seasons with the Eagles, Maclin was primed to take his place among the league's best all-around receivers. However, thoughts about football were put on hold last offseason after an unknown illness robbed Maclin of his strength and caused him to lose weight. At one point, it was believed that Maclin had lymphoma - a form of cancer. Thankfully, a battery of tests proved otherwise and Maclin is now back to full health.
Despite not playing in training camp or the preseason, Maclin had 63 catches for 859 yards and five touchdowns in 2011. In his first three NFL seasons, Maclin already has 189 catches for 2,596 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Proceeds from Maclin's football camp will benefit the Jeremy Maclin Foundation, a non-profit started by Jeremy to assist youth and families forced into alternative living situations. With the help of sponsorships, Maclin plans to give away over 100 scholarships for the camp to children in financial need.
Special rates for groups and families are available. Maclin hopes that each camper will leave believing they have improved as a football player and as a person. Maclin hopes to add to his previous charitable efforts in Philadelphia and New Jersey by assisting more children in need and by giving more back to youth football programs.
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