Imagine being a student showing up to Rodriguez High School for class and learning you had a special guest – who happens to play in the NFL – as your principal.
Well that dream became a reality for students as Rodriguez High alum Jason Verrett came back to his old stomping grounds and stepped in for the day.
"It was cool!" Verrett explained. "It was a lot different than when I was in high school. Going around and popping into a bunch of classes, all the students now have laptops. We didn't have those when I was in high school! But it was fun being able to see the kids and see the school…. It was just fun being able to see everybody and just bring back the memories that I had."
But number 22's day of giving back didn't stop there. Along with checking in on classes and signing autographs for students, Verrett and his brother took 356 kids to see "Black Panther."
"When the movie was first announced, we were thinking that it would be a great idea to do something first the first time for my hometown. I want to thank my guy Keith Welch for filming this event and making it epic for the city."
Along with smashing box office records, Black Panther has gained traction with the African American community given it has a largely black cast and its director, Ryan Coogler, is black as well. Taking these kids to see this movie was of the utmost importance to Verrett.
"It was definitely good for the African American culture. Not only it being Black History Month, but I thought (the movie) was great. It was good because we had a bit of a diverse crowd there, too. It was a way to kind of get me to not only be an inspiration to younger kids coming from that same area but by the same token, seeing a super hero movie. It was a way to combine both."
Additionally, as Verrett alluded, along with playing in the NFL, one of his main focuses is being a source of inspiration for kids and young athletes can look up to. After graduating high school with no scholarships, Verrett went the junior college route before attending TCU and, ultimately, making it to the NFL. His path hasn't been easy, but it's one he hopes can inspire those who may be facing challenges of their own.
"With everything that I've been through coming out of high school and getting here, my rollercoaster ride has been different from a lot of other people. But (it's important) just being able to have my story written about all the challenges I faced and kind of still keep people uplifted, still keep people with the right mindset. Because like I said, I had more adversity than a lot of people so it was big to talk and see all the young kids and how happy they were."