Some celebrities have names for their fan bases — from Taylor Swift’s “Swifties” to Hulk Hogan’s “Hulkamaniacs” to “The Blue Army” of Aerosmith. In sports, this is sometimes saved for certain team’s super fans, like the Yankees’ bleacher creatures and the New York Giants’ Big Blue Nation.
One Giant, OG Justin Pugh, seems to have a nicknamed fan base of his own, the Pugh Crew. And for the second year in a row, Pugh put on the Pugh Crew Summer Kickoff, a youth football camp, in his hometown of Holland, Pennsylvania on June 5.
“It’s getting kids out here and teaching the basic fundamentals,” Pugh said. “How to get into a three-point stance, how to hold a football, running through the bags, have five points of contact.”
Pugh hosted approximately 215 young footballers, ranging from ages 6 to 18, on Council Rock High School South’s practice field from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The first group of kids, the 6-12 year olds, participate in the morning session and work on football fundamentals; meanwhile, the 13-18 year olds have the afternoon session and work on more advanced drills and techniques.
It’s also an opportunity for Pugh to teach about the importance of the offensive line in football.
“Everyone wants to be Odell Beckham Jr. or everyone wants to be that next Eli Manning,” Pugh said, addressing the kids during drills. “But the offensive line is the most important position on the football field.”
Pugh was not alone when it came to working with the kids. Joining him were fellow Syracuse football alums Zack Chibane and Jarrod West, as well as teammate and fellow Giants offensive lineman Ryan Seymour.
“Justin’s my roommate. When he asked me to come out here and support, I was really excited about it,” Seymour said. “Just having the opportunity to come back and give back to the kids, I just think it’s really important. They come out here, learn the fundamentals, learn how the game is played and, most importantly, just come out here and have fun.”’
The Pugh Crew Summer Kickoff is one of USA Football’s featured FUNdamentals camps taking place across the nation. Each camp is headlined by an NFL player, and uses basic drills to teach skills and fundamentals to youth football participants. Other NFL stars that put on USA Football FUNdamental camps recently include Philadelphia Eagles TE Trey Burton, Kansas City Chiefs LB Andy Mulumba and Washington Redskins CB Bashaud Breeland.
For the 25-year-old Pugh, hosting this camp provides an opportunity to do two great things at once: to give back to his hometown and alma matter, and to be a role model for kids.
“It’s kind of cool to leave my little mark on my hometown,” Pugh said. “It brings me back to my roots. I literally grew up playing on this field and playing all my high school games here. It’s huge to come back and be with these kids. I really want them to know they can do whatever they want to do. Aim big, shoot for the stars and you can do some really big things.”
Great turnout & even better day with these kids at #PughCrewSummerKickoff! Can’t wait for next year ✌
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