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Former Red Raiders give back to community at TXL camp

Posted: June 17, 2017 - 6:27pm

Branden Jackson hadn’t listened and over did his work out.

The former Red Raider defensive end threw up inside the Texas Tech football facility and his strength and conditioning coach at the time, Aaron Uzzell, wasn’t having it. He made Jackson, then a sophomore, clean up his own mess.

“I got sick once and threw up, and he told me I had to clean it up. I said ‘Don’t we have janitors to clean it up?’ and he told me, “Yeah, but they aren’t here to clean up after you.’”

It was that kind of tough that eventually endured Uzzell to Jackson, who now plays in the defensive line for the Oakland Raiders.

“He checked my attitude and made sure I wasn’t some hot shot,” Jackson said. “When he reached out and asked me to help (with the camp), I was like ‘Anything for him and the city of Lubbock.’

Jackson was one of five former Red Raiders, who are currently playing in the NFL, that helped Uzzell host the TXL Pro Experience on Saturday at the TXL facility.

The pro experience The camp featured Bradley Marquez (Los Angeles Rams), Jace Amaro (Tennessee Titans), DeAndre Washington(Oakland Raiders), Branden Jackson (Oakland Raiders) and Pete Robertson (Washington Redskins).

“He invited us out here and it is always a good deal to come out here and help out and show our faces around town,” Amaro said. “We had a lot of guys in our recruiting class that are in the NFL now and it is good for the kids to see what we were able to do and to be able to show them the things were were able to do and give them advice about pursuing their dreams and aspirations.”

The Pro Experience, which was was open to all participants, ages 7 and up, and was free of charge, trained more than 200 area athletes at the facility Saturday, which is located 6206 Norwich Avenue.

“The point of this facility is to advance the athletes in this area,” Uzzell said. “In Austin and Houston they have facilities like this and we want to take (the children here) and mold them and get them up to speed with everybody.”

At the camp, participants were given the opportunity to get autographs and take pictures with the athletes following each workout, which included three, hour-long strength and conditioning sessions. Each workout was led by TXL coaches and the five NFL players in attendance.

This was the second year Uzzell is hosting the event, but first under the TXL brand.

“Anytime you can come back and impact the youth, especially with what coach Uzzell has going on with this great facility, it is great fun,” Washington said. “It is a good opportunity to come back and have fun with the kids. … (Uzzell) was my guy and anytime he needs something — it is done. But, more than anything this is about the kids. They might remember this for the rest of their life.”

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