DETROIT, Mich. — Mel Tucker preaches culture more than maybe any other coach in the Big Ten, and he wants the culture he’s building in East Lansing to spread a lot further than just the field. The overtime program is designed to help his players understand that one day football will end, and they need to be ready to continue to succeed.
Between the weight room, practices and studying, college athletes are asked to do a lot. Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker has challenged them, to do even more.
“It’s great having a guy like Coach Tucker in our lives as young men, I think it really helps us understand that football doesn’t last forever, he just makes us know that we have to have something else to do in our lives, find another purpose after football,” MSU cornerback Kalon Gervin said.
“We want to give them those real life experiences, to give them real connections,” PAL Director of Youth Enrichment Maria Franklin said.
Three Spartan football players have just begun their first ever summer internship with Detroit PAL to get some real life experience that can help them realize what it takes for an organization to run.
“We always see it from the on the field or weight room part, but we never really take a step back and watch and over see how the big picture is,” Wide receiver Tre Mosley said.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to come here and learn behind the scenes of PAL, with me being an alumni it’s even more of a huge opportunity for me to learn how these guys work behind the scenes,” Gervin added.
All three are from the Metro Detroit area, and know the importance of mentors as a young person, and as the first Division 1 players to get this internship experience, they plan on taking full advantage.
“I hope to get out of this helping kids more than they helped me when I was younger, help to know them on and off the field with the youth enrichment programs, help them set goals, help them be more accountable and working as a team,” wide receiver Sebastian Brown added.
“They can leave out of college knowing that sports are a big part of their life but it doesn’t define who they are,” Franklin added.
PAL is hoping that these types of internships can pave the way for more opportunities for future Spartans, but they’re also hoping other schools take notice and that every athlete is prepared more fully for the next chapter of their lives.