When you’re from a small town that’s produced over 20 NFL players, many of whom are household names, it’s not such a shock when you too make it to the big leagues. Stephon Gilmore’s hometown of Rock Hill, S.C. is also home to former Bills Ko Simpson and Jeff Burris, current Bill Jonathan Meeks, and many other NFL players, and Stephon says he owes some of his inspiration to his hometown’s winning traditions.
“I’ve always wanted to be the person who made it and come back and tell the kids how you made it and what it takes to get there,” he said. “Growing up in a small town, we grew up playing football all the time. It’s good when people that already made it come back and show us the ropes and teach us how to play football.”
He said knowing that guys who were brought up in the same setting as him helped him to realize it how great his opportunity was to become a professional football player. And now, he goes back often to let the next crop of Rock Hill’s NFL greats know that they’re next.
“I go back all the time to talk to the elementary and middle school kids,” he said. “A lot of people don’t know what it actually takes to get there. It’s not easy and I try to tell them that, to show my face and let them know that they can make it too.”
Posted in Inside the Bills, Off the Field