Washington Redskins defensive lineman Kedric Golston will enter his seventh season in the NFL this fall. The former Georgia Bulldog is talented, big, fast and strong. I recently had the opportunity to work a youth football camp with him for two days in Lenoir, N.C.
What I learned is that he has overcome tragedy and many personal and professional obstacles to be a true example of what faith, family and football is all about.
As a committed Christian husband and father of two, he is working daily to balance home and career. He also brings a refreshing take on his responsibility as a pro football player and an example to up and coming young football players.
His interest in helping children is evident through his words and actions. What you will find out in this interview is simple. Kedric is a man on a mission: to bring glory to God in all he does on and off the field. He has a strong message that starts with a strong faith in God.
Q: Tell me about your foundation www.everychildfed.org, along with your partners, two great Washington Redskin Hall of Famers, Darryl Green and Art Monk.
Washington Redskins photo
Kedric Golston, center, plays for the Washington Redskins. This fall will be his seventh season in the NFL. He explains the responsibility of being a professional football player in an interview with Roman Gabriel III. Golston is also a Christian who tries to find a balance between family and work.
A: We linked up with another organization started by Dr. Mardi Manary, called Project Peanut Butter, who developed a nutritious peanut-based formula for children. The milk-based formula has a shelf life where the peanut based product does not. It’s also more healthy and nutritious for children. We’re supporting the doctor to build factories to make the product in impoverished areas to feed these malnourished children. We want to give kids the gospel of Jesus Christ. We also know they have physical needs, and know how critical nutrition is from early [on]. We want these children to be healthy, and to love on them as Christ loves on us. We do events to raise money throughout the year. It’s just a great cause. In impoverished countries you have orphans, older siblings raising these children on the streets. I have a 13-year old daughter, and I could not imagine that for her. We just want to help these unfortunate, impoverished children.
Q: Tell me about your involvement with youngsters during the Sam Tate Foundation Football Camp in North Carolina.
A: In life you have to have someone to help you grow through the adversity. Somebody to instill … positive attributes in our life. There is always a bigger picture. We need to let these kids know that they have greatness inside of them. Let’s not waste a day. We had 5- to 12-year-olds the other day. They need to have fun, but they can be taught to be productive citizens now. Let’s not waste any time preparing them for life at a young age.
Q: You did not have an easy childhood. Tell me about that and those people who made a difference in your life growing up.
A: My mom was murdered when I was in the first grade. That was tough, losing mom at such a young age, asking why my mom, why the situation. But I have a great father and a great stepmother who I call my mom because she pretty much raised me. I think about my middle school coach Mike Duncan. He was my football coach and a history teacher. Mrs. Greenhall, my high school guidance counselor; my neighbor and friend David Rocker, all these people who invested time in me. I got in trouble when I was a kid like we all do, but I learned from my mistakes and had people there to hold me accountable. I didn’t want to let those people down. God has truly blessed me to play pro football, and given me a platform to share the gospel and help people in life. It’s like a pastor said the other day, “We’re not trying to reach young people today. We’re trying to rescue them. We have to go get them.”
Q: What would be the No. 1 thing you would tell a rookie player about the NFL?
A: This isn’t the end. It’s the beginning. You have to prove yourself. They’re not going to give you anything. You have to come in and take it. Whether you’re a high draft pick, or a lower one like I was coming out of Georgia. The most talented people don’t always play in the NFL. It’s the people [who] the coaches can trust. My line coaches never talked about speed or talent. He always talked about can you be trusted to be where you are supposed to be. Coach is counting on you and so are your other 10 teammates. You have to be coachable in football or life. [Be] accountable, trustworthy, and be a professional. Pro football is a job. A lot of Heisman trophy winners and highly decorated college players struggle because of what the NFL expects in being a professional.
Q: How do you think Baylor Heisman Trophy Winner Robert Griffith III (RGIII) will do this season?
A: We all know he has the tools. He’s very athletic. He can make all the throws. What I like about Robert is that he is confident in his abilities, but humble enough to understand that it is going to take time for him to grow and develop into the quarterback we all know he can be. He is the first person to practice, and the last to leave. He is always trying to learn to become the best he can be. … Robert is extremely intelligent, focused, and has brought a lot of energy to the organization. Now we as his teammates and brothers need to pick him up and make things easier. He needs to be able to lean on us. We have a great core group of guys. I expect big things out of him.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Roman Gabriel is an evangelist and motivational speaker. His Sold Out Sports Talk Radio program on American Family Radio can be heard in 200 cities nationally or streaming live at afr.net. It’s all about faith, family and sports. Visit his website: soldouttv.com; Facebook page: Roman Gabriel III Fan Page; connect with him on Twitter: romangabriel3rd; email him: [email protected] or call 910-431-6483. For more stories from Gabriel, visit here.)