Matt Lawrence, a former NFL running back from Connecticut, is trying to make the transition from high school to college a little easier on athletes in New England with a new mentorship program called "The Commitment."
“We’re going to show the world what Connecticut is all about,” said Lawrence, a Bloomfield native who also attended Avon Old Farms.
Lawrence played collegiately at the University of Connecticut and the University of Massachusetts and he is in rare company as one of only a couple hundred Connecticut natives to make it to the NFL.
“We want them to experience what it’s like to be big-time football. They said 'Matt, you’re a big-time football guy and now it’s time to help bring it back to the area that you’re from,'” said Lawrence.
“Throughout the journey, the struggle and the disconnect I found was at the high school level. The transition is very tough for people who aren’t playing sports so I felt ‘The Commitment’ can help kids dominate their first year of college football on the field and off the field," he continued.
The five-week virtual series will also feature current and former NFL players as guest speakers.
“How do you know if it’s the right fit? Are you concerned with playing time? What’s the real deal, so the experience I’ll pass on is how to better your game, how to feel comfortable in your own shoes and how to dominate,” said Lawrence.
Lawrence has had success working with young athletes in the Baltimore area, but now he wants to give back to the place that made him the man he is today.
“Now it’s time to go back to my roots because frankly, we weren’t getting a lot of love and respect in the football community,” said Lawrence.
"The Commitment" is targeting a mid-December start date and it is also focused on helping athletes’ families with the transition to college.
“You have a 0.001% chance of going to the NFL but you’re already going to college so let’s make college great,” said Lawrence.
Donations have also helped cut the cost for student-athletes. More information on "The Commitment," including how to register can be found here.