Every sports lover is pretty much counting down till the kickoff the Football Season! With so many talented players its difficult to keep track of them all, however, Identify LA got the scoop on 'rising star' that happens to be at home base! UCLA's very own Jordan Payton is more than your average 'football player' -- he's a humanitarian, a community activist, and an entrepreneur!
He has a creative business side and is getting a head start on developing a new clothing line and other endeavors in the community, and is even hosting a free football kids camp this July 2016 at his old high school in West Lake Village! Check below from a few statements and more reasons as to why Payton should be on your radar!
The following has been edited for continuity purposes.
IdentifyLA: How has football changed your life?
JP: Football has truly been a blessing at all stages of my life. Early on, it was just a hobby. It allowed me to be social and competitive among my peers. As I grew up,time cultivated passion and I fell in love with the sport. I became a student of the game which reinforced the importance of being academically astute as well. Football is my craft; it is sometihing I work tirelessly at each day, with an insatiable desire to be the best. Many times it has been my outlet. I know when I'm on the field nothing else matters. It allows me to block out life's everyday distractions and focus on one task. Now, football has paved a way for me to change not only my life but, the lives of others as well.
IdentifyLA: Why are you doing a football camp in July for kids/lessons? What are you hoping that attendees will leave with?
JP: This July I am proud to host the first annual Jordan Payton Youth Camp at my alma mater, Oaks Christian High School. Being blessed with such a great opportunity to be a professional athlete is a unique platform, a platform that enables me to give back to the community. If it weren't for others pouring into my life and helping me forge a way for myself, I would not be here today. As a professional, it is paramount to give back. In my eyes, what better way than to give time and resources to those who are traveling on the same path I was just a few years ago. The camp will allow me to merge my passions , football and community service. It is my hope that the attendees will realize the urgent nature of the game and use football as a platform for other creative avenues they may want to pursue beyond the playing field . Though I wholeheartedly believe in giving your profession 100% of your time and focus, I also don't want attendees to conform to the "athlete" stereotype. Life is bigger than just football, so I hope to educate them on the different intricacies of being a consummate professional, both on and off the field.
IdentifyLA: How did you feel when you signed with Adidas, and if/ why you feel that Adidas is a great performance brand?
JP: Honestly, it was a dream come true when I signed with Adidas. Since high school I have been avidly wearing Adidas. I can honestly say I feel this brand complements me as both a person and an athlete. I wanted a brand that I never had to take off, Adidas was the answer. Off the field It's a lifestyle brand, they have everything I like from shoes to jackets. On the field, it has become second nature to wear the 3 stripes. I feel empowered by the Adidas brand and what they strive for, not only in sports but as a leader in active wear worldwide. Adidas represents excellence and longevity, two universal characteristics that I strive for.
Having just signed with the Cleveland Browns, Payton has a bright future and is sure to be 'catching' way more than footballs.