Matthew Stafford finds new receivers at Grogan Elementary

Posted May 19, 2014

Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw passes to some new targets during his visit to Grogan Elementary School to promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles for children.

With OTAs starting on Tuesday, quarterback Matthew Stafford got some early practice in Monday morning.

But his work didn’t come at the team’s Allen Park training facility. Instead, he visited Grogan Elementary School for Pepsi recess. There, he took some live reps with students as part of the NFL PLAY 60 initiative with Playworks to promote an active and healthy lifestyle.

“Play 60 does a great job with the Playworks people coming out here and putting this stuff on. It does bring to light the importance of recess,” Stafford said after spending time at the school. “It’s something I remember as a kid growing up, we always had. Whether it was playing basketball, football – just playing tag or whatever it was out in the yard between classes. It was a bunch of fun and something that is important.”

Matthew StaffordQB Matthew Stafford takes part in a game of foursquare (Photo: Detroit Lions)

Stafford spent his time at the school rotating between football, foursquare and jump rope stations that Playworks had set up along with representatives from Pepsi and Walgreens.

At the jump rope station, Stafford and his fiancé, Kelly Hall took up opposite ends of the rope as students took turns jumping.

The quarterback was at home at the football station, stepping in as the all-time passer while students took turns switching between offense and defense and running what resembled one-on-one drills.

“These kids, they show up ready to play, that’s for sure,” Stafford said. “It’s a blast to be out here and have an opportunity to hang out with them and hopefully cheer their day up a little bit.”

Stafford was able to find plenty of route-runners in familiar No. 81 and No. 21 jerseys on the playground.

“It’s a blast,” he said. “These kids are just out there having fun. They are fans of the Lions – bunch of Calvin Johnson jerseys out there, Reggie Bush jerseys out there. It is fun to get out here and interact with them and have some fun. You know recess is probably their favorite part of the day. It was when I was a kid, and hopefully I made it a little bit better for them today.”

The visit had everybody smiling – from the students, to the school administrators to Stafford himself.

“It was magical,” Grogan Elementary School Principal Rob Wolsek said.  “It was an honor to have him here. He looked like he had a great time. Just to see the amount of joy on these children's’ faces was unbelievable.”