By Lori M. Nichols | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
New York Jets defensive end Vinny Curry and Carolina Panthers wide receiver Keith Kirkwood hosted a free youth football camp at Neptune High School Saturday.
Curry and Kirkwood, both natives of Neptune, spoke to the kids before warm-ups and were on the field as the kids learned the mechanics of the game.
Curry is no stranger to giving back to the community he grew up in. In 2019, he paid for haircuts for Neptune and Asbury Park high school students before their senior proms.
Friday night, they hosted a 7-on-7 event for high schoolers, which was a “huge success,” said Curry, adding that kids from opposing teams all came together as one for a great night.
A couple of hundred of kids from kindergarten through the eighth grade participated in Saturday’s camp. Local coaches and members of the Neptune High School football team volunteered their time to work with the attendees.
Kirkwood spent a fair amount of time working with the younger kids on the field, demonstrating how to hold the football and “blocking” the kids as they ran with the ball.
“I feel like a little kid, I love this,” Kirkwood said, smiling the entire time he was with them.
Ryan Leonard, owner and CEO of New Jersey’s Finest Clothing company and a 2005 graduate of Neptune High School, donated T-shirts for kids and volunteers.
“I walked the same halls, it’s just very important to give these kids a good role model,” Leonard said. “You know, these guys did it from an athletic standpoint, I’m coming from a business standpoint to show them a different approach.”
Curry, who won a Super Bowl championship while playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, was excited to put on these events for the community and show the kids their potential: “You guys can be bigger than us,” he told them.