NASHVILLE – For Tennessee Titans linebacker and team captain Wesley Woodyard, giving back to a community that helped mold him has brought him full circle on his football journey.
Woodyard is cherishing yet another moment of giving as the Official Ambassador of this year’s Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl Youth Football Program. On Tuesday, Woodyard hung out with the Bordeaux Eagles youth football team and said it brought back memories from not that long ago.
“I had a lot of dreams that took place right here on the youth football field, just a like a lot of these kids have today,” Woodyard said as he overlooked the field. “I had dreams of playing professionally, dreams of going to college and dreams of helping your family out.
“Playing this game taught me a lot of things and helping out with youth football definitely brings it back full circle.”
Woodyard has a unique connection to the Franklin American Mortage Music City Bowl. He won the bowl twice as a standout at Kentucky in 2006 and 2007 and earned Defensive MVP honors in his first appearance.
“Anytime I pull up to Nissan Stadium, I’m like ‘this is where I played my last collegiate game’ and to be a two-time Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl champion, seeing where it all began being back here in Nashville, it’s just a dream come true,” Woodyard said.
Woodyard is the second YFP Ambassador from the Titans, joining former safety Jonathan Cyprien. This year, the bowl has partnered with Woodyard's 16Ways Foundation. Under the stewardship of Woodyard and Derrick Kelley, President of 16Ways Foundation, communities across multiple states have been positively impacted by their mission of encouraging young people to be the best they can be through education, physical activity and mentorship.
Through the bowl’s Youth Football Program, local youth leagues will receive thousands of dollars in donations to help buy/repair equipment, uniforms, maintain facilities, pay for game officials and implement new league programs throughout the year.
In addition to monetary donations, the leagues also receive an official bowl helmet sticker, a free ticket for each coach and player of the leagues’ championship-winning teams and a mouthguard provided by longtime supporter Delta Dental of Tennessee.
The league champions will be recognized at Nissan Stadium in front of tens of thousands of football fans during the Celebration of Champions Ceremony during the 2019 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.
For more information on the Youth Football Program, visit www.musiccitybowl.com/youth-football-program.