With heat that measured 110 degrees on the artificial turf during mid-morning a year ago, a different tactic was tried for Thursday’s fifth annual Jarvis Landry GiveBack event.
Was the heat in fact the reason the start time was moved to 5 p.m. this time around?
“It’s definitely for that,” said Landry.
It turns out Mother Nature wasn’t very concerned with the time of day.
“I did get in the car today in Louisiana and the thing said 107,” Landry said. “I literally almost cried. I miss it. I love it and I hate it. It’s like, wow, 107. That’s not right. Something has got to be wrong. It’s good to be back.”
A star player at Lutcher, LSU and early in his professional career with the Miami Dolphins, Landry was as accustomed as anyone to dealing with the heat.
Then came last year’s trade to the Cleveland Browns.
“It was snowing in April. I called my mom and I’m like, ‘I don’t know,’ but it worked out. The love for football kind of takes over and you really don’t think about the weather,” said Landry.
The actual temperature on Thursday in Lutcher was in the 90s but heat didn’t matter to the legion of Landry’s young fans who showed up to learn a bit about football and rub elbows with their favorite home-grown professional football player.
Now in its fifth year, what has changed about the camp, other than start time?
“It’s continued to grow from a sponsor standpoint, to help and all the people who participate and volunteer their time to make sure that this is possible. Every year it seems to grow,” Landry said.
“I think the biggest thing is the demand has grown to attend this came,” said Lutcher football coach Dwain Jenkins. “The first couple of years, we were trying to stretch it to get to 100 kids here. Now, we opened it up and three days later we had 125 signed up.
“For this to be a great experience for the kids, we want to keep it capped at about 125 kids. We had to turn kids away this year. As it continues to grow and people get to see what a great even it is for Jarvis and that he gives back to the community, more and more people want to be involved. I think it’s one of the things that we will look at to see if we can expand it and see if we can give the same quality experience that we give for even more kids going into the future.”
With the help of volunteers and several of Jenkins’ current Bulldog players, youngsters from the ages ranging from 9-13 were able go move from station to station to work on a different aspect of football.
Going into his sixth season in the NFL, Landry has played in all 80 games of his professional football career. He has amassed 481 catches for 5,014 yards in his career with 26 touchdowns. He topped 1,000 yards in a season twice in his career, narrowly missing the mark in 2017 and 2018.
With expectations running high in Cleveland for the first time in recent memory, Landry has been reunited with former LSU teammate Odell Beckham Jr. to form one of the top pass-receiving duos in the NFL.
“It’s a tremendous feeling just having him back out there, having him side-by-side and having an opportunity to go out there and compete. I know where his heart is. I know his mentality and he wants to win a championship, so I’m excited,” said Landry.
As far as his GiveBack foundation, it’s about more than just football for Landry.
With the help of sponsors, the campers were given backpacks, school supplies and other items.
For the third year, Landry awarded a Building Winners scholarship worth $5,000 to a recent Lutcher graduate. This year’s recipient is Kiersten Volion.