Vikings G Steve Hutchinson serves his teammates as a player representative to the NFLPA. He’s a well-spoken individual with a University of Michigan education. He’s also one of the most active Vikings players in the community. On top of all that, he’s a 6-time Pro Bowler who is the best LG in the NFL.
And that is exactly why NFL VP of Football Operations Ron Hill and NFL Youth Football National Coordinator Jerry Horowitz asked Hutchinson to speak to the 180-some high schoolers who are currently in town competing in the 16-team 7-on-7 High School Player Development National Tournament presented by the National Guard.
Hutchinson spent a good 20+ minutes in the front of a large conference room at the Bloomington Sheraton, holding the attention of the athletes for the entire time while he explained that the public spotlight on athletes today has evolved significantly from what it was when he was a high schooler.
“Football is getting so popular,” Hutchinson explained, “that the NFL is playing games in London and Mexico City. Everyone in the world watches this game. And as aspiring athletes looking to play collegiately and perhaps in the NFL, everyone know what you’re doing all the time. If you screw up now, everyone knows about it.”
Hutchinson also emphasized to the athletes how important it is to surround themselves with the right people and to make good decisions in, the classroom, in their personal life and on the football field. He hammered his point home by citing his relationships with Michael Vick and Steve McNair. Hutchinson came into the league with Vick and was a friend of McNair’s after the two had spent time together at the Pro Bowl. Both individuals were good people, Hutchinson said, who made poor decisions that cost them dearly.
After his talk, Hutchinson also fielded questions for several minutes. Hutchinson was excellent as a speaker and both Hill and Horowitz graciously praised and thanked him for speaking after the event. Vikings Executive Director of Community Relations/Youth Football Brad Madson was also at the event to speak to the high schoolers.
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