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Eagles' D-Jax preaches hard work to young camp participants

'Hard work on three. One . . . two . . . three . . .

DeSean Jackson talks to campers at the field behind Moorestown Upper Elementary School. (Alejandro A. Alvarez/Staff Photographer)
DeSean Jackson talks to campers at the field behind Moorestown Upper Elementary School. (Alejandro A. Alvarez/Staff Photographer)Read more

'Hard work on three. One . . . two . . . three . . .


The echo of about 150 kids equipped with matching green No. 10 T-shirts boomed off the walls of Moorestown (N.J.) Upper Elementary School at the DeSean Jackson Football Camp on Friday.

In the dead heat, the participants diligently followed their coach's instructions during warmups, sprinting from cone to cone. But as soon as the Eagles' two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver arrived, clad in green Eagles shorts and a Los Angeles Kings hat (a nod to his hometown team), the youngsters lost focus and began to fidget.

Having attended NFL camps growing up, Jackson said he understood their excitement and wanted to help give them the same opportunity he had.

"It's a driving situation for a young kid to be inspired by an NFL player - whoever it is they look up to," Jackson said. "I'm just fortunate to be in the position I'm in. I still want to come out here and help, and not only just let these guys come out here and have fun, but actually teach them life skills as well - teamwork, how to work with one another."

The annual camp gave participants ages 7 to 16 an opportunity to run drills with Jackson and guest coaches, play in 7-on-7 flag games and get words of advice from the superstar.

Jackson's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said the wide receiver is committed to being a good role model.

"DeSean's just trying to help touch these young people and help them make better people out of themselves - grow up and become young men," Rosenhaus said.

Jackson and Rosenhaus gathered the oldest group of participants to instill in them that what they do off the field is just as important as what they do on the field.

Jackson can attest to that.

After a down season filled with controversy, the question of his return to the Eagles was put to rest when he signed a 5-year, $51 million deal in March that should clear his head of past offseason troubles.

"This time last year, we weren't sure what the future held in terms of his time in Philadelphia," Rosenhaus said. "We didn't know if he was going to play out his contract or get traded. It's just terrific that he was able to stay with the team, get a good deal. Now he's just got all of his focus on football and doing things like this."

Jackson proved his mind is still on football, even in late June. Between throwing balls to campers and helping them with drills, Jackson dropped to the ground to do a set of pushups. He was practicing what he preaches in hard work.

And as soon as the camp broke for lunch, Jackson ran wind sprints up and down the field alongside Rosenhaus and fellow camp coaches. In seemingly effortless strides, Jackson outpaced his competitors.

"Everybody knows we're in for a Super Bowl," Jackson said. "I think everybody as one understands that. We know it's not an easy task, and the past couple years me being here, being so close, getting to the playoffs, and then last year not making the playoffs, I think as a team, the coaches, we're at a level now where we understand what it is, and we know what's at stake."

Contact Casey Musarra at