For more than 10 years, “4th & Life” has focused on connecting high school football players with professional athletes to discuss life skills and decision-making through an interactive discussion forum. Merritt joined the NFL’s Washington Redskins players, alumni, and community leaders to offer advice on setting goals, time management, and most importantly, how to make the right choices on and off the field. In addition to Merritt, the panelists included Redskins players Lorenzo Alexander (#98 Linebacker), Chris Baker (#92 Defensive Lineman), Joshua Morgan (#15 Wide Receiver) and Josh Wilson (#26 Cornerback) all of whom joined to serve as role models by sharing their own personal stories of success. Merritt discussed playing football all throughout high school before deciding to run track, turning down an athletic scholarship in order to go professional at the age of 18, the benefits he received from being sponsored by Nike in continuing his education and what it took to become one of the fastest men in the world. The forum was moderated by Redskins alumnus, Doc Walker and also included questions and answers from the high school football players.
“I’ve dedicated my off-season from track and field to give back to the youth in my community. I am thankful for the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation for being a community service leader and for allowing me to join their efforts in helping young athletes in our area,” says Merritt who was born and raised in Portsmouth, Virginia.
Athletes traveled from throughout the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area to be in attendance. Schools from Prince George’s County, Alexandria City, Warren County, Fairfax County, and West Virginia were among the participating schools.
About LaShawn Merritt
LaShawn Merritt is a USA Track & Field sprinter. He earned two Gold Medals at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.
This year, LaShawn earned a spot on the 2012 US Olympic team for USA Track & Field. He is ranked #1 in the US in the Men's 400m race, #2 in the world.
For more information on LaShawn Merritt, visit http://LaShawnMerrittUSA.com, “Like” on Facebook at http://Facebook.com/
PHOTO CREDIT: Ned Dishman