Since joining the New York Jets last year, former Middletown star Jalin Marshall has read more letters than he anticipated. That’s because his former coach Troy Everhart prefers to write instead of calling or texting.
“I guess he’s getting too old for cell phones, but I won’t tell him that,” Marshall said.
Marshall will not need to read a letter to know what went on in Middletown this weekend, because he was back at Barnitz Stadium on Sunday afternoon to host a football camp for area elementary and middle school students.
“Coming out here and seeing these little kids smile to be in your presence, it’s great,” Marshall said. “It warms my heart up. It’s another step toward what I’m trying to build for myself and for the community.”
It is one of a few times Marshall has been back in Middletown since leaving for Ohio State in 2013. He was a key player for the Buckeyes in the 2014 and 2015 seasons before leaving for the NFL.
He joined the Jets as an undrafted free agent last year and had 14 receptions (including two touchdowns) in 10 games, in addition to kickoff and punt return duties.
Sunday’s camp was sponsored by ProCamps, a Cincinnati-based company that helps professional athletes put on the events for kids. Organizers forbid any questions to Marshall about his future with the Jets or his upcoming suspension, but he did say he enjoyed making the transition to working in the New York area.
“Coming from here, it’s a big difference,” Marshall said. “You can’t see the sky in New York with buildings everywhere and stuff like that. You have to adapt to it. But it was one step closer in the steps I’m trying to take.”
Approximately 100 children from first through eighth grade participated in the camp. Marshall and area high school and college coaches assisted in instructing participants through various drills, including 40-yard dashes and throwing competitions. All campers received a T-shirt and an autographed picture of Marshall.
Marshall said he enjoyed interacting with and coaching the participants, which were grouped by age. He ran around from group to group and gave pointers on throwing and receiving, and he also acted as a defensive back during throwing drills.
Marshall also participated in a 40-yard dash with one group — though he looked like he was jogging compared to the participants’ sprinting.
“It’s good for the kids to see you having a good time with them,” Marshall said. “… It’s a blessing for me to be here.”
Though Marshall is only four years removed from playing for the Middies, one aspect of Barnitz Stadium stood out to him on Sunday: the artiifcial turf field, which was installed in 2014.
“It’s my only time playing on the field with the turf, so I’m enjoying it a little bit,” Marshall said.
The second part of the day featured a Youth Basketball Camp with Purdue standout and 2014 Middie Alumnus Vincent Edwards. Vince was a 3-time GMC Champ, All-Ohio Selection, and Middletown’s 2nd all-time leading scorer behind only Jerry Lucas. Over 100 youth who participated in the football camp came down the street after the Football Camp to historic Wade E. Miller Gym to get some instruction from the Big-10 Champion.
-Parts of the story taken from Bryant Billing at the Dayton Daily News
View Pictures from Procamps Website from Youth Camps: http://procampspics.zenfolio.com/f870997323