NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Titans partnered with Nissan and five former Heisman Trophy winners to host a youth football clinic for more than 200 members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee at Nissan Stadium on April 21, 2016.
The Heisman winners were in town because Nissan and the Heisman Trophy Trust partnered to begin construction on a Habitat for Humanity home in North Nashville. The football clinic was an extension of that project. It's the fourth year of the Heisman Youth Football Clinic, an event created in collaboration with Nissan and the Heisman Trophy Trust. The clinic has occurred with the organizations' home builds for Habitat for Humanity in Dallas, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. Nissan identified the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee as an exemplary initiative that would benefit greatly from a football clinic of this kind.
"Nissan has been active for many years with Habitat for Humanity in communities where we live and work, and our strong partnership with the Heisman Trust and its mission of building strong communities and service to America's youth continues to be an excellent fit," said Jeremy Tucker, vice president, Marketing Communication & Media, Nissan. "We're grateful to these athletes for joining in this unique partnership to conduct a football clinic for area kids and to help a Nashville family improve their living conditions through home ownership." It is the mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs to enable all young people to reach their full potential. They focus on providing a safe place to learn and grow through life-enhancing programs and character development experiences. Pairing this local organization with the Heisman winners was a natural fit.
Five Heisman Trophy winners join for youth football clinic at Nissan Stadium. (Photos: Lynne McCracken)
"It is going to be an exciting time to be a Boys & Girls Club youth member. They will have an opportunity to meet some of the best football players to ever play the game of football, and it is going to be very memorable. What makes it even better is that these players are even better men. Our youth participants are on cloud nine," says Dan Jernigan, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee. "Our Boys & Girls Clubs would like to thank the Heisman Trust along with Nissan for providing this opportunity in which our youth will get to learn from some of the best college football players ever."
Leading the football clinic were five Heisman Trophy winners –
Tim Brown (Notre Dame), Mark Ingram (Alabama), George Rogers (South Carolina), Billy Sims (Oklahoma) and current Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (Oregon).
They joined the coaches in running drills and engaging more than 200 youth.
"It's a lot of fun for us!" said Titans quarterback Mariota. "I look forward to these events because the kids are influential and to be able to have fun with them means a lot. It's an opportunity to be a kid again."
Titans QB Marcus Mariota joins four other Heisman Trophy winners to build a Habitat for Humanity home in Nashville. (Photos: Amber Harding, Nissan)
"Nissan has done some great things for the Heisman winners," said Brown, 1987 Heisman winner. "Individually, we do a lot of stuff in particular parts of the country, but coming together as a group is really special. I would love to see us do more of these things."
On Friday, the Heisman winners will trade in their helmets and footballs for hard hats and hammers to begin construction on a Habitat home in the Park Preserve neighborhood, north Nashville, Tennessee.
"It's exciting anytime we can host an event with our partners at Nissan, but to have 5 Heisman trophy winners here to actively participate with over 200 children from the Boys & Girls Clubs in middle Tennessee, you couldn't ask for better ingredients for a super event. On top of that to be able to host it here at Nissan Stadium!" said Ralph Ockenfels, vice-president, Marketing and Broadcasting & Digital Rights, Tennessee Titans.
The clinic treated everyone to an afternoon of fun activities including music, photos with the Heisman Trophy and Heisman Trophy winners, food, and giveaways. Titans' mascot, T-Rac was on-hand entertaining the children with his usual antics.
About Nissan North America **In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized annually by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year since 2010. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.InfinitiUSA.com, or visit the U.S. media sites NissanNews.com and InfinitiNews.com.
*About Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. *Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan's second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 247,500 employees globally, Nissan sold 5.32 million vehicles and generated revenue of 11.38 trillion yen (USD 103.6 billion) in fiscal year 2014.
Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands. Nissan leads the world in zero-emission mobility, dominated by sales of the LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle. It is the best-selling EV in history with almost 50% share of the zero-emission vehicle segment. For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.
About The Heisman Trophy Trust
The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football players in the United States. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance and hard work. The Heisman Trophy Trust ensures the continuation and integrity of this award. The Trust, furthermore, has a charitable mission to support amateur athletes and to provide greater opportunities to youth of our country. Our goal through these endeavors is for The Heisman Trophy to symbolize the fostering of a sense of community responsibility and service to our youth, especially those disadvantaged or afflicted.
About Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville seeks to put God's love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Prior to becoming homeowners, Habitat future homeowners attend home education classes, work at the build site and volunteer at Habitat's retail outlet, the ReStore. Since 1985, Habitat of Greater Nashville has built or recycled nearly more than 770 homes. To request an application or to receive more information about Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville, call 615-254-HOME (4663) or visit www.habitatnashville.org.