NIAGARA COUNTY, N.Y. -- Bills linebacker Preston Brown is launching a new community service program called "Preston's Playbook."
His first community outreach event for the program was held on Tuesday when he surprised a high school football team in Niagara County.
The Niagara-Wheatfield Falcons face Clarence this Friday, and on Tuesday after practice, the coach asked the players to stay late. That's when Brown, who promised to answer any questions the students had, surprised the team.
Their questions ranged from silly to serious.
"Do you play yourself in Madden?" asked one student.
"No, I don't like playing myself in Madden because I'm awful on that. I'm like the slowest ever," said Brown.
"Did you take a knee during the national anthem? What's your thoughts on that?" asked another student.
"I did not take a knee, but I mean, a lot of guys are just trying to bring awareness to the situation," said Brown.
Brown also talked with the players about how their grades in high school can impact their scholarship opportunities and about how much work it is to be a student-athlete in college.
The University of Louisville just happens to be where Brown met Niagara-Wheatfield alum Justin Gilmore, who helped make this visit happen.
"I was once in their seat. If a guy comes in, you pay attention a little bit, but anything that can stick with them, I try to provide. Ask any question I'll answer it. So, anything they have on their mind, I can just try to provide some knowledge for those kids," said Brown.
"To be able to meet that role model they see play on Sundays, and to hear it come from him, the effort that goes into it, the hard work, the dedication...you know, he started watching film on Sunday after a big win, and then it's right back at it," said head coach Russ Nixon.
In addition to the visit, Brown is also helping the school make history next Friday by sponsoring portable lights for the school's first nighttime home game.
"To give them this opportunity to play a night game on their home field for senior night for homecoming, it's what memories are made of in high school football," says Nixon.
"It means a lot. To play under lights on Friday night, that's all they think about in high schoolm" Brown said. "They had a TV show, a movie about it, and so, that's all you think about 'Friday Night Lights,' so to have those kids have that opportunity to have a homecoming, be under the lights, it's going to be a great experience for all of them."
As for what's next for "Preston's Playbook," stay-tuned through Brown’s social media accounts. Gilmore says there are some surprises in store for student athletes with high grades.
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