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Former WVU Football Stars Participate In 'Day of Play'

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WVU great Will Clarke guides a young participant through a ball-carrying drill. WVU great Will Clarke guides a young participant through a ball-carrying drill.
As the saying goes: "Once a Mountaineer, always a Mountaineer".

Former Mountaineer football stars proved it true at the WVU Student Rec Center on Saturday, for inaugural NFL 'day of play' with local children. 

Kids got instruction from their West Virginia idols, as well as encouragement for a lifetime of health.
The event was sponsored by the United Way and is related to the NFL's Play 60 movement, which teaches kids to get at least 60 minutes of exercise every day. 

What began as an idea from a journalism professor at WVU has turned into a potential tradition.

"Pro sports organizations find ways to give back to their community," said Joey Harmon, Day of Play executive. "There's the NFL play sixty to help reduce childhood obesity, and nothing like this has ever been done before, so why can't we do that? So, we just decided to use the resources we had, and create something awesome out of it."

Dr. Elizabeth Oppe said she was grading papers for an online summer class and saw a United Way commercial involving former WVU quarterback, and current New York Jet, Geno Smith. Dr. Oppe figured that it would be a good idea to get them involved with kids since Mountaineer football players are loved across the state,.

Kids participated in several football-related drills, including running, catching, and shuffling. 
Dancing was also on the docket, and even went a little too far.

"One thing I love to do. I love to have them do a celebration dance whenever they score a touchdown, so it's always pretty hilarious," said Keith Tandy, former Mountaineer, and current Tampa Bay Buccaneer, cornerback. "You'll find some of these kids, and you'll be surprised about how good they can dance. They got a little carried away. A couple of them jumped on me took me to the ground. I just laid there, and one of them bust my lip open and it was bleeding and I had to sit out. But, it was a good time"

Former Mountaineer greats such as Tandy, Super Bowl XLVIII champion Bruce Irvin, Will Clarke and Major Harris were on hand to work with about 150 kids.
The event's organizers hope to get other former Mountaineers to come and make the event an annual occurrence.