FORT MYERS, Fla. — It’s not every day that an NFL hall-of-famer like Deion Sanders makes a promise to give Southwest Florida (SWFL) athletes a scholarship to play football at the University of Colorado.
The head football coach for the University of Colorado and North Fort Myers native in an Instagram post promised to give an athletic scholarship each year to a SWFL football player.
The promise from the man known as Coach Prime quickly created a buzz for players like Ryan Gadson at Bishop Verot Catholic High School,
“I'm a senior and I don't really have a place to go right now. I definitely think it’s good for the community and for him to give back to us,” said Gadson.
Gadson, a senior and stand-out wide receiver and defense back for the Vikings said it couldn't have come at a better time.
“A lot of players go to the next level from college to the NFL. I feel like that here is important to us cause of the work we put in,” said Gadson.
It's also motivation for those putting in the work like sophomore running back Deshon Jenkins, who still has a few years to catch the eye of Coach Prime.
“That's a goal I probably have been dreaming of… like my family, my mom and my stepdad push me so hard,” said Jenkins.
It's a goal Bishop Verot head coach Richie Rode told Fox 4 is not given but earned.
“It's a sacrifice, all summer long we ask them to be here at seven in the morning,” said coach Rode.
While helping high school players make it to the next level, coach Rode and Coach Prime understand what the game can do for their athletes in the future.
“Trying to make them great husbands, great fathers great employable individuals,” said coach Rode.
At Bishop Verot, the prime-time promise is less of a question and more of a motivation for players like Gadson, to continue to get better.
“If you wait your time, and work hard it will definitely start coming to you,” said Gadson.