By JR Riddick
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11:11 PM EDT, June 23, 2013
WILLIAMSBURG — William & Mary opened its 20thannual Colonial All-Pro Football Camp on Sunday with an appearance by NFL quarterback and Richmond native Russell Wilson.
Wilson spoke to the crowd of more than 350 kids and encouraged them to become self-motivated and to make the most of every opportunity that they are given in life.
The Seattle Seahawk quarterback is living proof of his message, making the most of his opportunity to start for the Seahawks in his rookie season, leading them to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth in 2012.
In a question and answer session at the end of the day, campers asked Wilson a variety of questions ranging from what it was like to be a professional football player, to one camper who questioned the call on the controversial last-second touchdown pass that Wilson threw to beat the Green Bay Packers in overtime.
“Of course, it was a touchdown,” Wilson responded to the camper.
Wilson is one of three Pro Bowl quarterbacks that will attend the camp this week. Former No. 1 draft pick and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is scheduled to attend the camp on Monday, and Matt Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons will be at William and Mary on Tuesday.
This year’s trio of NFL quarterbacks will join an elite company of pros that have attended the camp in previous years. Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre and Tom Brady are among the more recent NFL stars to share some professional instruction with local football players.
The football camp is for boys ages 8 through rising seniors in high school, most of which attend the camp for the opportunity to meet and catch passes from NFL players such as Wilson.
One such camper, Richard D’Abreu, 12, said he was excited to have the chance to meet Wilson and was the first one to point Wilson out when he entered the stadium.
“That’s Russell Wilson,” D’Abreu repeated over and over again, making sure all of his fellow campers knew exactly who was walking across the field.
D’Abreu said that meeting Wilson was amazing and described catching a pass from the NFL quarterback as the highlight of his life thus far.
“It’s a great honor for me to have the opportunity to come here and be with these kids,” Wilson said. “I never was able to go to this camp as a kid, because I was always playing baseball. So it’s nice to now finally be able to be here.”
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