'IT MEANS EVERYTHING': Harris returns home for community cleanup, football camp

·2 min read

Jul. 10—Brontae Harris is all about giving back.

And, on Saturday, the Colony native did just that.

Harris, who recently signed with the Los Angeles Rams after a productive collegiate career at UAB, returned home to host a community cleanup and football camp in the town he first began chasing his NFL dream.

The inaugural, cost-free event welcomed players of all ages and was coordinated by Harris' 1Dream Foundation, a non-profit group Harris said is focused on community organization and uprising.

"We just got established this year," the 2015 Cullman graduate said. "I always look at it as everyone has a dream. But most people look for plan B, plan C, dream two, dream three. For me, it's one dream. And I'm going to chase that dream no matter what. I'm not thinking about what can go wrong and stuff like that. That's sort of the background for how this started.

"As far as the rest, all the things we do and host will be community events like this. Hopefully, they'll get bigger every year. We want to bring in more resources, more NFL guys, stuff like that. The key is just giving back to these kids and giving them some of the things I didn't have growing up here."

Harris certainly took a hands-on approach Saturday, coaching kids through various football drills and stations. He was joined by former local standouts, such as Broc and Xavier Malcom, as well as other guests.

Despite the hot temperatures, the enthusiasm from Harris and campers alike never waned.

The message for Harris, after all, is too near and dear to his heart to give anything but his best.

"It means everything coming back home and investing in these people who invested in me as a kid," he said. "There are tons of people in this community who invested in me, looked out for me, maybe took me to the field or court when my parents had to work. I want to come back and show these kids they can be anything they want to be. No matter if your town has 20 people, 2,000 people or 20,000 people — you can accomplish your dream.

"We also want to show them that you're never too big to forget where you come from. Once you accomplish your goals and your dreams, come back and give back to the place where it all started."

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