As part of the Rams' Salute to Service Week efforts, the team hosted a virtual "Cleats for Character" assembly for the Leadership Military Academy and 11 other high school football programs throughout Los Angeles. The session featured a Q&A session with 2022 Hall of Fame finalist and Super Bowl champion Torry Holt.
"If you are going to become a champion in life, you're going to need a team," said Holt to more than 250 high school football players on the Zoom call.
Holt led an encouraging and genuine conversation, adding even a little tough love to inspire the young players to be the best versions of themselves. The discussion, moderated by Rams Director of Social Justice and Football Development Johnathan Franklin, focused on Holt's career journey, character development and highlighted the value of education.
Torry Holt's accomplishments are nothing short of impressive. He completed his 11-year professional career with 920 catches for 13,382 yards and 74 touchdowns. Holt also was voted to the Pro Bowl seven times and recognized as an All-Pro in 2005. Holt credits his success and work ethic to watching his family work tirelessly for what they had.
"I learned very early on that if I wanted something… if I wanted to become something, I had to get out and work for it. No one was going to give me anything. I had to get out and work for it," said Holt.
Holt also placed great emphasis on the transferable life skills that he gained through playing football.
"Football taught me a lot," he explained. "Football taught me, 'You get knocked down, you get up.' Football taught me to trust my teammates. Football taught me discipline, repetitive discipline… and overall, more importantly, teamwork."
The participating players on the call received cleats previously worn by Rams players. The assembly was the second Cleats for Character event the Rams have hosted this year as part of the season-long program.
"Cleats for Character is one of our annual programs where we donate cleats to local high schools. Through these donations, we believe that it shouldn't just be a shipment of cleats with no touchpoint, but really a moment to create an experience with future stars that will go pro in life," said Franklin to the group. "The stars I'm talking about are each of you on this call. You know, the players here that are going to have success not just on the field but off the field as well, by embracing your gifts and your talents."
The Rams introduced the Cleats for Character program in 2017. Over the past four years, the team has impacted more than 2,500 student-athletes from over 120 different schools throughout Los Angeles. This season, the Rams will donate more than 600 cleats to 38 schools.
To learn more about the Rams community efforts, please visit www.therams.com/community.