By Rory Sharrock
Before he heads back to Texas for the start of training camp, Tashard Choice has some unfinished business to attend to in Clayton County.
This Saturday, the former Lovejoy High School and Georgia Tech running back, who was selected in the fourth round by the Dallas Cowboys, returns to his old stomping ground at Twelve Oaks Stadium to host the Tashard Choice & NFL Friends Skills and Performance Camp.
"I want to get the boys out there and teach them the basic skills," said Choice.
"They'll be doing the things you do in the offseason in the NFL to get them ready to play for the season."
Choice's daylong camp will focus on essential football fundamentals such as route running, passing drills as well as proper blocking and tackling techniques.
All those in attendance will learn first hand from a former Southern Crescent star athlete, who came from their neighborhood and was drafted by one of the marquee franchises in America sports.
"It's big to come back and show them the things I've done. This will give them some inspiration and be a big factor in determining what they do with their lives," said Choice.
Among the host of players invited to his camp is ex-Oregon running back Jonathan Stewart, who was a first-round pick of the Carolina Panthers.
Several of Choice's former Georgia Tech teammates are also helping with the activities, including offensive lineman Mike Johnson from Stevenson High School, Philip Wheeler from Shaw High School along with past Southern Crescent studs, defensive backs Morgan Burnett from North Clayton High School and Jamal Lewis from Jonesboro High School.
In addition to the future NFL greats scheduled to appear, the entire Lovejoy football coaching staff will be on hand to assist in the various workouts led by head man and athletic director Al Hughes.
"He's (Tashard) a fine young man," said Hughes, who guided Choice during his high school career. "He's interested in all the kids here. He wants to do something to give back to those who supported him along the way. We're just more than happy to help him out."
During his senior season with Wildcats, Choice was the complete package, rushing for 1,200 yards on 129 carries while racking up 600 yards receiving with 17 total touchdowns.
Following a brief stint with the Oklahoma Sooners, he returned home and enrolled at Georgia Tech.
With the Yellow Jackets, Choice carved up defenders on the football field and school statistics the record book en route to receiving 2007 First Team All-ACC honors.
Choice concluded his collegiate career by owning or ranking in the top-10 in 19 different Georgia Tech records, including first in consecutive 100-yard rushing games (9), 100-yard rushing games in one season (9), and the most carries in a year (297). He also is fourth on Tech's career rushing list with 3,365 yards.
Registration for Choice's camp begins at 8:00 a.m.
The first session runs from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. After a short intermission, the second session kicks off at 2 p.m. and concludes at 4:30 p.m.