MIAMI – Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa made a surprise visit during football practice at Miami Edison Senior High School on Tuesday.
“I sit back and watch him on a big screen TV every Sunday night,” said Edison linebacker Danny Vamper.
Tagovailoa ran through drills with the players despite the sticky summer heat.
“You have to put in to get to the next level, to get where he at,” said Edison quarterback Kelvin Murray.
Tagovailoa did not come empty handed, either.
He announced Gatorade and Good Sports were donating more than $65,000 worth of new sports equipment to the school.
“You got to be the first one on the field and last one off,” said Murray.
Murray and Vamper said what meant the most to them is what Tagovailoa said toward the end of his visit.
“You guys could be doing anything else, you guys could be sitting at home on a couch watching TV, eating potato chips,” Tagovailoa said. “You made a decision to come out here and continue to dream big.”
Tagovailoa spoke about the importance of putting the work in, paying it forward, and of family.
“I think the biggest thing is really listening to the people that matter to you, your grandparents, if it is not your parents, it is your uncles, your aunties,” he said.
“It means something to me because my mom really means something to me,” said Vamper. “So I want to make it up to her for everything she has done for me.”
Edison football Head Coach Luther Campbell agreed with Tagovailoa’s sentiment.
“Family is the most important thing,” he said. “Making others proud, that is what it is all about.”
Added Tagovailoa: “There’s other people that help motivate you, there’s people who have done a lot in your life and I know a lot of these kids are helping their families.”
“It is a tough neighborhood,” said Campbell. “We preach accountability, responsibility and for him to reaffirm that, from a guy they look up to, that is a beautiful thing for us.”