Vinny Curry Shares His Youth Football Experience With Young Players — Including His Son
Welcome to Why We Play, a series of discussions with current players and NFL Legends about their youth football experience and why they play the game.
Vinny Curry can’t wait to get his son on the football field.
Curry’s son, Noah, turned three years old in May.
“He loves football already,’’ Curry said. “I mean he really loves it. There is a flag league here for three and four year-olds, so he’ll be out there pretty soon. I can’t wait. He can’t wait.’’
Youth football has meant a lot to Curry, who grew up in the New Jersey shore town of Neptune. He played Pop Warner Pee Wee Football there and Pop Warner Midget Football in the neighboring town of Asbury Park.
“Oh man, I loved youth football. It was great,’’ Curry said. “It builds character and metal toughness at a young age. And then most importantly the bond you have with the players on your team, a bond that can last forever.
“We had great coaches, too, when I played in both Neptune and Asbury Park. Coaches I still talk to, to this day."
Curry starred at Neptune High School and Marshall University before being picked in the second round by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012. Curry was a regular starter at defensive end during the Eagles 2017 run to the Super Bowl LII title.
After wrapping up his ninth NFL season, those days playing youth football at the Jersey Shore don’t seem that far off.
“It helped me tremendously," Curry said of his experiences in youth football. “The competition, the toughness, it actually helped me to want to do better in school. It hit all phases of life for me."
Curry even keeps tabs on how his old programs are doing.
“Neptune and Asbury both made it to the Pop Warner championship in Florida,’’ Curry said with pride his in voice. “I’m so happy for both programs and so proud to say I was a part of both of those programs. They have some great history and tradition there."
Curry has run a football camp for Jersey Shore-area students during past offseasons, though those plans were put on hold due to COVID-19 this past year. He started it at his old high school, Neptune, but has moved it around to different towns.
“I knew what it felt like as a kid, we never really had a camp like that here. We had to go far away,’’ Curry said. “So it’s kind of cool to have one here now for these kids. I would have been so happy to meet a NFL player when I was a kid. And you can see how happy these kids are."
Most important for Curry is knowing that the kids are learning he game and playing it the right way, just as he was taught back in Neptune and Asbury Park.
“To me, youth football is so important,’’ Curry said. “It builds character, it forms bonds, it made me who I am today. It made me want to compete at all levels. My son loves being around football, and when he’s ready to play I can’t wait for it, he’ll be out there. I’ll probably be coaching him."
Photo: AP/Al Tielemans
- Youth Football
- NFL Players and Legends