Justin Blalock spent one of his last free weekends of the year back in his hometown of Plano, Texas last weekend. There's nothing too unusual about a trip back home, but Blalock's included a football camp for nearly 200 area kids. For the fifth consecutive year, Blalock hosted an all-position football camp with help from area high school coaches and a few former teammates at the University of Texas.
In a day and age of specialized position-specific camps, Blalock's camp is wide open and accepting of all skill levels and when the camp began on Saturday morning, 170 kids ranging in grade levels from 6-12, were ready to go. Blalock's seen his camp grow in popularity as he continues to do it, growing from 40 kids when he started it in 2010.
"It means a lot that they take enough interest in it to tell a friend, keep coming back and learning things," Blalock told the Plano Star Courier. "Hopefully it'll get them a little head start on the competition for the upcoming year."
The unique part of Blalock's camp is how it began. Before they hit the field, the campers were given an opportunity to attend a career fair and speak to professionals from eight different career paths including sports marketing, medicine, information technology and the military. The kids had an opportunity to talk with the professionals to learn about what it takes to achieve in each line of work.
While Blalock's camp focused mainly on football, teaching the game until late into Saturday afternoon, education still had a place at the camp and Blalock is hoping the kids from his hometown see that a mix of school smarts and football smarts can take you anywhere you want to go, on or off the field.