BEDFORD —** Inside the cafeteria at Columbus Intermediate School hangs a basketball hoop in which the students here playfully challenged John Hughes — the 6-foot-2, 320-pound Browns defensive lineman — to touch its rim.
So Hughes, who played host to the latest edition of the American Dairy Association Mideast and Fuel Up to Play 60's Breakfast with the Browns on Tuesday, leaped into the air and pretended to dunk, much to the amusement of those gathered.
Hughes, who spent the morning teaching students about the benefits of eating breakfast and importance of education, said he was happy to be out and about in the Cleveland community.
"I'm a firm believer — my uncle taught me when I was younger 'each one, teach one' — so that's a big thing for me," he said, "just to be able to give back to what I was given when I was younger, just be able to reach kids and impact them in a special way."
Hughes added: "One of the kids asked me what's so cool about playing football and I'm like, oh you know, it's cool, you get to play on the field and to be famous and everything, but the best thing about it is being able to come and talk to them and make a big impact on them so they can be successful in life."
Hughes, who's entering his fifth season with the Browns since being drafted in the third round in 2012, also shared his thoughts on first-year coach Hue Jackson.
"He was confident and very sincere in what he was saying if that makes sense," Hughes said. "I respect that out of him as a man to come in and say these are the goals and this is what I want to do and this is what we're going to do, and I appreciate that."
The Browns' PLAY 60 movement — which is part of the NFL's nationwide initiative to promote youth health and wellness by getting active at least 60 minutes each day — works with University Hospitals and American Dairy Association Mideast and Fuel Up to PLAY 60 to encourage and educate kids and their families about the steps they can take toward a healthy lifestyle.
Fuel Up to Play 60, launched by National Football League (NFL) and NDC in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Play 60 initiative, is designed to engage and empower youth to take action for their own health by implementing long-term, positive changes for themselves and their schools. The program additionally encourages youth to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
The American Dairy Association Mideast provides science-based dairy nutrition information aimed at educators, school nutrition directors, health professionals, consumers and media. ADA Mideast is an affiliate of the National Dairy Council. For more information about ADA Mideast, visit www.drink-milk.com.
The Browns are dedicated to #give10 through the team's First and Ten initiative. Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team's community program, established to inspire fans to volunteer in and help their communities throughout the world by volunteering for 10 hours each year. Through First and 10, the Browns are the only NFL club to promote a long-term volunteering program that unifies the team and its entire fan base, with the goal of impacting every individual's city across the globe, as well as the franchise's local community.
For more information, visit www.ClevelandBrowns.com/community.
American Dairy Association Mideast and Fuel Up to Play 60's Breakfast with the Browns' series, DL John Hughes joined Columbus School for a nutritious breakfast.