PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Camden, New Jersey native returned to his roots Wednesday to talk about how he went from a walk-on at Temple University to being selected by the Arizona Cardinals in the first round of the NFL Draft.
It was a hero’s welcome as Haason Reddick entered gym full of cheering students at Camden Promise Charter Middle School.
“I used to be in the same seats as these kids,” Reddick said. “So I just want to let them know that it was somebody who was once like them and made something out of themselves, and they can do the same.”
He urged the students to set lofty goals of their own.
“There’s a lot of talent here in Camden,” he said. “I always say it. You just need somebody to properly guide them.”
Chief administrator Joseph Conway says Reddick wasn’t the biggest or fastest boy in middle school, but he fought his way to the top.
“He’s a great story for us,” Conway said. “He’s a great role model for our children, so it’s really exciting to have him.”
And it was a day the students won’t soon forget.
“It was so cool and it inspired me so much.”