— Audrina Bigos

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris was the featured guest speaker at the second Lauren’s First and Goal Football Camp on Sunday.

Special to the Oracle

Special to the Oracle

The one-day, non-contact camp supports Lauren’s First and Goal, which is a charitable organization created to raise funds in support for pediatric brain tumor research, support local pediatric cancer services, provide financial assistance to families living with a pediatric cancer diagnosis and to raise public awareness regarding pediatric brain tumors.

Football players — grades 8-12 — had the opportunity to make contact with Division I, II & III college coaches, who volunteered to work the camp and raise funds. Approximately 400 students and 80 coaches took part in the camp.

Morris represented the Buccaneers and talked to the Oracle while at the camp:

Oracle:  What does it mean to you to be able to take part in this camp?

Morris: I want to support anything that is this positive and I give a lot of credit to these coaches that are participating for free. Most hold different camps in their areas and get paid for them, but they have come together to support this cause, volunteer their time and help out the way they have today. It’s our job to help out as many people as we can in this world and when I get a chance to do that, it’s always a great feeling…. I’m all in.

O:  What’s the importance of professional, college and high school athletes taking time to help others the way many coaches have?

M: That’s so important because it’s all about showing the way for someone else. It’s part of their job as an athlete. Helping others is what has made (professionals) who we are today, and gotten us to this point in our career. People have been there to help me along the way, so it’s our job as athletes to contribute what we can for someone else.

O: Does being here on the USF campus bring back any memories for you?

M: I am so closely related with USF and the coaching staff here. Over the past years, the football players here have had the ability to spend a lot of time with the Bucs.  I feel at home here and it’s always exciting to be in this environment with familiar faces.

O: Do you plan on attending games upcoming USF football games at all?

M: I have always been at the Bulls games, even when I was a secondary coach for the Bucs. I want to get out every opportunity I can. They [football team] are well coached. They have some good players, and it’s always fun to watch them play their game at the stadium.

O: So, you are familiar with Jim Leavitt and the coaching staff at USF?

M: Yes, I am and I have always supported them. I know about Leavitt’s background and what he did up at Kansas State. I actually followed after him when I coached there in 2006. I am a big fan of Leavitt and his energy, his mentality — really everything about him.

O: Three former USF players are fighting for a spot on your team. Can you comment on the progress of Jarriett Buie, Amarri Jackson and Mark Dile?

M: When I think about Jerrett Buie, I think about ultimate effort and a guy that is working his butt off to make the team. These guys are fighting to be in this league because they love this game and they are passionate. Amarri Jackson is trying out with us for his second time around and really fighting. We really love the guys that are coming out of USF, Dile included, because of the type of character that they have and the effort they put in to their game.

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