Myles Garrett took the field at Ellet High School on Tuesday as part of a groundbreaking ceremony for a new turf field donated to the school by the Browns.
After chatting with Ellet football players and enduring multiple photo-seeking swarms of students, Garrett received a moment to take a look around at the scenery. His view took him back to his own high school experience, which made him realize that while the new field will be a tremendous gift to the student-athletes at Ellet, he's glad his own school never received such a donation.
The reason: His school already had plenty of open space for running. A lot of running.
"Uh, no," Garrett said when asked if he wished he'd had such a privilege back in high school. "This is great for them, but I didn't need any more fields for them to punish me with."
Memories of the many fields worth of conditioning space aside, Garrett acknowledged how significant a contribution the Browns were making to Ellet and all of Akron Public Schools with their donation of a new turf field for multi-sport use. Multiple APS schools use Ellet's stadium as their home field, meaning it's almost guaranteed to be used at least once if not more per week in every week of the Ohio high school football season.
Check out photos from the third day of OTA practices
Garrett also took the time to speak to the students in attendance, emphasizing the importance of education and the opportunities athletics offers for participants to express and discover themselves.
"Education was always a pillar of what it meant to me to be a student-athlete," Garrett said Tuesday. "That was driven into me by my parents when I was younger. Just being a part of this moment, knowing that this is a large part of their lives as well, just being able to come out here and showcase their talent and then go back into the classroom feeling better about themselves and wanting to do better with their education and their academics, just being a part of that moment meant a lot to me."
Browns director of college scouting Steve Malin, Akron mayor Dan Horrigan, APS superintendent David James, APS athletic director Joe Vassalotti, and APS board of education president Rev. Dr. Curtis T. Walker were among the others present at the ceremony, which took place in front of the entire Ellet student body, faculty and staff, as well as local media.
The donation is part of the Browns' and Dee and Jimmy Haslam's commitment to youth football and education as part of Browns Give Back. It's the ninth field to be funded since the summer of 2016, and is expected to be completed prior to the start of the 2019 school year.