LANDOVER, MD.(WUSA9) - This week hundreds of D.C. area high school football players participated in a life changing event: the 4th and Life football forum hosted by the Redskins charitable foundation.
It's the 15th time the organization has held the event so it has impacted a lot of lives.
Former Redskins star Doc Walker led the event that helps the players learn about how to prepare for life after football and succeed in all aspects.
He told the kids, "Don't let anybody categorize who you are. You are who you think you are in you mind."
This year’s panel included NFL alum Joe Ehrmann, current Redskins players Chris Carter, and Anthony Lanier and former Washington stars Kyoshoen Jarrett and Josh Wilson. They preached about the lessons football can give.
"It takes a man to play football, but playing football doesn't make you a man," Ehrmann told the youngsters. "Its about how you play the game."
The guys reflected on their NFL debut’s during the forum and educational portion. Current defensive lineman Lanier had the funniest story.
"Of course my number gets called. Coach says 'Anthony go in there' and I’m like 'you want me to go in there?,'" the crowd erupted in laughter as Lanier has a incredulous look on his face.
Some of the players also highlight the struggles they faced after injuries cut their career short.
"One of the things I had to learn about myself is who am I as a man," Jarrett said. "I used to identify myself within the game of the football. Football was me."
Penn State committ Daniel George told reporters that the message about life after football stuck with him.
"Hearing that something will be after football, and that football will end is like a wakeup call. Like I have to prepare for my future."
Former Washington football safety Josh Wilson touched on the influence his mom had on his life.
"My mom did everything," he said. "We were in a single parent household. She took me to every sport. Traveled with me for track and everything. She came to every game never missed anything. She was my life support," he said.
For Lanier, he hoped the event transformed the kids perspectives.
"I hope they get confidence because they will learn everybody isn't gonna be there for them. But they will have people fighting in their corner who gonna help them because as long as they got each other and have God, anything is possible."
You got that right Lanier.
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