Imagine being one of the top high school football players in Southern California and getting invited to Fred Roggin's annual Roggin's Heroes Thanksgiving. Pretty cool, right? You get your own televised special on NBC4 with a local sports broadcasting legend, not to mention a pretty good Thanksgiving spread.
Life's good. "It doesn't get much better than this," you think to yourself. That is, until a special guest arrives – a special guest who also who happens to be a Pro Football Hall of Famer and one of the greatest running backs the game has ever seen.
This was the position some of the area's best high school football players found themselves in last week when Chargers legend LaDainian Tomlinson surprised them and imparted advice and wisdom with the athletes:
"Accomplishing your dreams and goals really doesn't require you to run like the wind," Tomlinson said. "It doesn't. It requires the persistence to maintain running when others have slowed. It doesn't require you to be the fastest (or) the strongest, and it's really not about being the greatest football player. It's about being the greatest you that you can be. My challenge to you is, what can you do with that talent? Going to the next phase of your life, which is college, and do the same things you've always done, but do them better. Be more consistent. Be more persistent. I commend you. Congratulations for getting to this point, but what now? What will you do now? That's what we all want to know."
LT took questions from the players and shared a bit of his story and the adversity he overcame as a young high school athlete transitioning to college.
Click here to watch the full video and see why this Thanksgiving will be one these players will remember forever.