NFL linebacker Justin March-Lillard gives back to Danville

Local Sports

Danville-native and Dallas Cowboys player hosts annual camp for youth football players

DANVILLE (WCIA) — Dallas Cowboys linebacker Justin March-Lillard returned to his hometown of Danville to host his 5th-Annual JML Youth Football Camp.

“To be able to come back is just a tremendous blessing for me, and to be able to see my family and all these great young kids. I was once there age running around out here, so time does fly by, and now I’m here just in a different light,” says March-Lillard. “I remember back when I was their age, I didn’t really have anybody that came back to do something like this. So that was my motivation for wanting to start a camp.”

March-Lillard started the JML camp just after his final season at the University of Akron. He went un-drafted out of college, and signed with Kansas City in 2015. He’s played the last two seasons with the Cowboys as a special teams captain, and while he’s seem success on the field, March-Lillard preaches a message that goes way beyond football.

“You wake up with an opportunity and a choice, and then from there on you make a decision, you make a choice to say, ‘hey I’m going to be positive today,’ or I’m going to love somebody today, I’m going to be kind to one another today, and that’s just the message I’m trying to share.”

Danville High School head football coach Marcus Forrest also participated in the camp, and coached March-Lillard when he was in high school.

“His hard work speaks for it self, you see a kid like that, that comes back and shows all these kids those different things, it’s a wonderful thing. And what I love about Justin is he comes back and he talks so positively about his good experience and his bad experiences.”

As March-Lillard heads into his fifth season in the NFL, he hopes to compete for a starting role, with his motivation taking root back home in Danville.

“It’s just a great reminder for myself that there is somebody out there that is counting on you. Like as much as I inspire them, they inspire me to keep going, and to keep pushing in everything I do in my life and career.”

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