At the 2017 Pro Bowl, Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen met his former high school coach Kelly Epley and thanked him for his tough love.
Following a disappointing Pro Bowl Skills Competition which had a severe lack of Minnesota Vikings, there was a great story that came out involving Everson Griffen meeting up with a former inspiration.
According to the official Vikings website, the defensive end met up with his former high school football coach and caught up. The man, named Kelly Epley, was an inspiration to Griffen at Agua Fria High School in Avondale, Arizona.
Griffen has said in the past that he was a knucklehead as a youngster, and coach Epley confirmed that the physically gifted player sometimes put a lot of his plate. Still he saw the potential in the future Minnesota Vikings pass rusher, and pushed him to succeed.
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"“You never took it easy on me, never. And that’s why I’m here today – because I learned,” Griffen told Epley “I loved it, though. You taught me some valuable lessons.”"
One of those lessons is a tough one that some players struggle with when entering the NFL. Natural talents and physical ability can take a player to the NFL, but to succeed it takes hard work and dedication.
"“He didn’t care how talented I was – he was on me,” Griffen said. “And that’s why I’m here. It started with him.”"
To watch the heart-touching moment between Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen and his former high school football coach at the 2017 Pro Bowl, be sure to check out the video as shared on Vikings.com.