ND football players mentor area youth

NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Kids from Berrien and Cass County laced up their cleats and played a little ball with some Notre Dame football players.

The team is prepping this off-season, but took some time out of their busy schedule to give back.

Bennet Jackson is just one player from the Notre Dame football team giving back to area kids.

Saturday, he and others mentored youth from Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Berrien and Cass County.

"We love coming out here and helping everybody, and I'm sure they love coming in," Jackson said. "We're just going to continue to do it, and we hope it turns out to be good."

"Some little kids see these football players as super heroes, somebody who's untouchable," said Kathy Hoffman of Big Brothers Big Sisters. "To be able to interact with them one-one-one, it's really a chance of a lifetime."

And the children took full advantage of it with a few drills.

"It's a blast," sad Jarrett Grace, a Notre Dame linebacker. "Just to be tangible, and be out there for the kids to see you and interact with you, it's a lot of fun. And it's fun for us, running around with these guys."

"Everyone calls it the Notre Dame bubble, but we're really all over," Jackson said. "We're here to support the community, and we hope the community supports us."

In addition to some practice on the turf, the kids got a tour, watched some highlights, and players spoke on the importance of goal setting.

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