CHICAGO –Tampa Bay wide receiver Prechae Rodriguez has been named National Guard Community MVP of the Week for his recent philanthropic efforts.
Rodriguez (6-5, 215, Auburn) is in his first season in the AFL and his first with the Storm.
Recently, Rodriguez spoke to students at Washburn Academy on the value of education.
“I told them to stay in school, have confidence in yourself and build an all-around knowledge,” Rodriguez said. “Education is not just learning in school; it’s having that drive to learn in every aspect of your life.”
Rodriguez used his personal experience as a lesson for the students. For most of high school, he struggled in school and was unable to stay eligible consistently.
“I came to a point where it was almost time to graduate and time for athletic scholarships, and it kind of hit me that I had to buckle down,” Rodriguez said. “I was able to cram and learn everything I needed to and was able to get a scholarship.”
Following that experience, Rodriguez realized the true value that education had in his life.
“Without focusing on education in high school, I wouldn’t have been able to go to college,” Rodriguez said. “It’s called a student-athlete for a reason, it’s student first and then athlete after.”
A Tampa Bay native, Rodriguez realizes how important it is to reach out and help adolescents in his community.
“I will always remember when I was in school and Derrick Brooks (current Tampa Bay Storm President), came and spoke to our student body,” Rodriguez said. “It really motivated me, and now I want to go out and give back in that same way to the kids.”
Tampa Bay (6-8) will face the Philadelphia Soul (12-3) tonight at 7:30 pm ET.
The National Guard Community MVP is awarded to one player each week in recognition of their commitment to community service. Following the 2012 season, players will be voted on by fans to become the National Guard Community MVP of the Year.