By Krysten Call, Titans Online
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Titans safety
The Titans crew put on a show filled with interactive information about the NFL PLAY 60 and Fuel Up to Play 60 programs as well as some additional fun ways to get outdoors and exercise with Titans partners Tennessee State Parks, the American Heart Association and the Southeast Dairy Association.
The surprise guest, Johnson, was warmly welcomed by the middle school as he greeted the assembly of kids with high-fives as far as he could reach as he made his entrance into the gym. Johnson was honored to have the chance to speak to the school about the importance of healthy eating habits, being physically active and doing well in school.
As Johnson talked about his journey from being a student-athlete to becoming a professional football player, he recalled that he may not have always understood why he had to perform some tasks in school; however, he knew that everything he did helped him get to where he is now.
“Somehow, some way, what my teachers were teaching would come up later in life,” Johnson said.
The Fuel Up to Play 60 program aims to educate kids about healthy eating options such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, low-fat dairy and whole grains so kids can fuel their bodies prior to exercise. In addition, the NFL PLAY 60 program encourages kids to be physically active for at least 60 minutes each day.
The skillful safety connected with the students about being physically active, articulating that he loved to be active as much as possible when he was a kid.
“I was just playing sports in general, I played football, basketball, track and around the neighborhood I played soccer,” Johnson said. “I was involved year-round in sports to stay active and out of my mom’s hair as much as possible.”
After the assembly, a special group of students were chosen by the school for their leadership, grades and behavior to spend additional time with the second-year pro for a meet and greet opportunity. Johnson signed and handed out Titans PLAY 60 folders to each student while answering questions about his life in middle school.
“Middle school was tough,” said Johnson. “I did a lot of moving around during my middle school years. It was a hard process with making friends but playing sports always made me one of the known players as I entered a new school which made the transition easier for me.”
Johnson reiterated the importance of doing well in school with the students as he made the connection between being a student and being an athlete.
“When you think about student-athlete, student comes before athlete because studying has to come first,” Johnson added. “Student was always first in my book and athlete came second because I knew that I had to get good grades in order to play sports.”
School board leaders, counselors and the school’s administrators were very encouraged to hear Johnson’s message about keeping education a top priority.
As the Titans Tuesdays school program continues to visit schools in the community, the Titans aim to expose area students to great programs that could impact each student in a positive way. For more information about the various Titans and NFL affiliate programs and opportunities available to schools and students in the area, check the links below: