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What they're saying: College football's impact beyond the field

Current and former coaches Pat Jones, Barry Switzer, Mark Mangino, Jay Norvell, Jemal Singleton and the San Diego Chargers' Darrell Stuckey weight in on the impact of college football on athletes who grew up in difficult environments.
by Jason Kersey Published: February 9, 2013

“That young man's going to require a little more attention with things like trust and mutual respect. So I think as a coach, if you're out recruiting young men that come from a different background, then you've got to be ready and prepared to give them support on your campus.”

Former Kansas safety Darrell Stuckey, now with the San Diego Chargers: “I think it gives you a sense of belonging. A sense of togetherness, and with the right coaching, a sense of discipline and encouragement. It teaches you character along the way and how to work well with others.

“It gives you a head start in life, or an escape from your current situation. It allows you to surge yourself forward in life ... to earn that scholarship and make it where you don't have to go back where you came from.”

Former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer: “Those are the things that the sport brings. It's a safety net for so many young kids.

“Coaches find those players in any place, in any nook and cranny in our country that plays our sport. It's up to that individual to take advantage of that opportunity.”