COLONY, Ala. – It’s been an exciting summer for Brontae Harris. After finishing up stellar college career at UAB with the Blazers, the former Hanceville and Cullman standout signed with the Los Angeles Rams as an undrafted free agent in May. Since then, Harris has spent some time practicing with the Rams out west and working to earn a spot on the roster for the upcoming season but this weekend he wanted to spend some time to give back to his community here in the southeast. He did just that Saturday morning by hosting a community cleanup and football camp in his hometown of Colony. Brontae is trying to learn as much as he can as fast as he can from his Rams teammates, but he says it’s been a little easier to learn from a veteran group of defensive backs that are eager to help.
“Man, it’s been surreal. It’s been surreal just to accomplish that dream. Everyone I know that plays football that I grew up with and have been around all had that dream of going to the next level and playing in the NFL and just to be able to go and experience it is very humbling,” Harris said. “Coming in as a rookie, you’re fresh out of college and you’ve got a lot to work on but just being around those guys makes you want to compete and get better every day. I don’t know how it is everywhere else but with the Rams we’re like a family already so the older guys like Jalen (Ramsey), D-Will (Darious Williams), D-Long (David Long Jr.) and all the older DBs are quick to help and do extra stuff with us. So, it’s just been easy for me, and it’s been the perfect situation. It’s just all God really.”
Harris has his mind set on improving as a player and becoming a contributor in Los Angeles as soon as he can but another priority for him is staying connected with his community. He thanks God for making his young career possible but he wants to make sure he gives back and invests in his hometown that invested in him before he even started playing sports.
“That’s definitely a priority for me. After thanking God, you have to give back. He’s the reason I got here but these people have been pouring into me since I was a kid growing up in the community,” Harris said. “So, that’s the thing I wanted to do was come back and invest in this community first and foremost and let everyone know I will never forget where I came from. I grew up here and I know all these streets so just to come back and bring people in and bring people together for a day to walk around and chill and just have a good day is all I could ever have asked for. This honestly feels better than being in the NFL, being able to come back and host this in my community and bring the kids out and everything. It’s surreal.”
Saturday’s camp was also a big step for Harris’ foundation, 1DREAM, a non-profit organization committed to creating and coordinating community beautification projects, providing resources to increase green space, and serving as a means of opportunities to encourage and support the dreams of Colony citizens. Establishing the foundation was important to Brontae and he hopes to see it grow so he can continue giving back to his home.
“1DREAM Foundation is actually my brand and what we focus on doing is things like what we’re doing today. Doing community projects and investing in our community and getting the kids whatever they need,” Harris said. “I’m a rookie so obviously it’s a little smaller but we hope to grow and to be able bring in more people and do more things to elevate our community. That’s really our focus in our foundation, just doing whatever we can to build up back home where we’re from. We want to be able to provide kids here resources that I didn’t have growing up and help them reach their goals. That’s all I want to do so that’s really what we’re focusing on.”
Harris will get back to work with the Rams when fall camp arrives and he’ll be doing what he can to make an impact on the field in Los Angeles, but he’s already done a lot to make an impact in his community back home.
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