Offensive tackle Bobby Hart made history as one of the youngest players ever to start a game for Florida State football when he started at right tackle at barely 17 years old in 2011. Taken by the New York Giants in the 2015 NFL Draft, he's in line to compete for a starting spot with the G-Men.
Now Hart wants to give back to younger players with a free youth football camp on Father's Day in his native Lauderhill (Fla.).
Date: June 19 | Time: 11-2 | Info: 954-572-1474 (Maurice) | Ages: 7-14
Address: 7500 W. Oakland Park Blvd, Lauderhill (Fla.) 33319
Hart plans to have some former college and NFL players there as well but names have not been announced. This seems like a good opportunity to spend some quality father-son time. It could also help kids whose dads are not around to take their minds off it while receiving instruction from NFL players.
"We're trying to teach the fundamentals of football and give the kids a fun experience," Hart said. "And I want to remind them to keep their focus in life and school."
I had a chance to speak with Hart about his time at Florida State and his adjustment to the NFL.
One of the things I asked Hart about was him not redshirting in 2011 and instead playing before he was physically ready (injuries and a lack of depth forced him into the lineup at just 17). But Hart told me that he did not want to redshirt and does not regret playing so young, even though I suggested he may have gone higher in the draft had he been able to show his age-21 college season to NFL Scouts.
"I had always been the youngest, so I was used to it." Hart said, noting that he may be able to reach a potential second contract earlier than other linemen.
Most interesting was Hart's comments on his preparedness for the NFL coming out of the Florida State system.
"In the NFL, we might not even have as many protections as Jimbo (Fisher)'s offense," Hart said. "It's easy to translate, just the terminology is different."
Hart has not been back to Tallahassee for a while, but is very excited to get back as the New York Giants' bye week coincides with FSU's game against Clemson. He is also looking into finishing his degree in sports management.