By Gary Lloyd
A former Hewitt-Trussville football standout, now playing at the University of Mississippi, used his spring break last week for good.
John Youngblood, along with five other Ole Miss players, a team manager and chaplain, spent last Monday through Friday in the capital city of the Republic of Panama on a mission trip where they visited an orphanage, fed the homeless, spoke to school-age children and ran a free football clinic, among other activities. The participants returned to Oxford, Miss., on Saturday to jump into the team’s first spring practice Sunday.
“It says a lot about not only their character, but the environment that Coach (Hugh) Freeze and his staff have brought to this university,” team chaplain John Powell said on www.olemisssports.com. “They understand the importance of giving back to those who are in need, and this opportunity gives them a chance to do that in a real way.”
Powell told the website that NCAA rules prohibited the players from raising financial support for the trip, so Powell raised support for the entire group. More than $1,600 above what was needed for travel and living expenses was raised while in Panama.
Youngblood, a 6-foot-3, 237-pound tight end for the Rebels, redshirted the 2012 college football season
. As a senior at Hewitt-Trussville, Youngblood posted 131 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, six sacks and two forced fumbles as a linebacker.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.