Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman Cory Redding returned to his old stomping grounds at the University of Texas on Friday to announce the Cory and Pricilla Redding Family Scholarship.
The endowment will help provide educational opportunities to undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need.
“My wife is a graduate of the College of Education,” Redding said. “I am still working to get my degree from the College of Education. Education is important. We need more teachers and motivators to keep our kids on the right track.”
Redding, who is actively pursuing the completion of his degree in Youth and Community Studies, grew up with humble beginnings and understands the importance that something like this -- monetary peace of mind -- can have on a young person’s life. Even more important than that, perhaps, is the comfort of people leading you in the right direction, which he plans to do personally.
“I feel like anyone in my position can write a check,” said Redding, who was selected with the 66th overall pick in the 2003 NFL draft by Detroit. “But that’s not me. If anyone knows Cory Redding, I am hands-on in anything that I do because I am that proud of it. With that being said, I look forward to being very involved with the scholars who receiver this endowment.”
None of this comes as a surprise to Longhorns coach Mack Brown, who knew Redding had the ability and understanding to do something like this because of his passion and leadership skills while at Texas.
“To have the foresight to give back is a great gift and not a lot of athletes give back because they feel like they spent their time giving back while on campus,” Brown said. “This should be a message to athletes across the country that when you have people in your life that have done so much for you like the College of Education, not only can you mentor those students but you can say thank you.”
University president Bill Powers said this is “about as good as it gets as a college president” to see a student-athlete give back to the university in this way.
“We say that we change people’s lives here at the university and what they do is go out and be a big part of their communities, give back and help. Cory and Pricilla, we are proud of you.
“As Cory said, this will be more than financial support. He will mentor these students. I think it will be neat come Sunday afternoon when one of these kids says ‘Mom and dad, you know that family that gave me the ability to come to Texas, well he just got a sack.’”
He’s recorded 25.5 of those over his career.