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Husky tight end talks football, good choices with Renton Rangers
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, a University of Washington football player, spoke at a Renton Rangers youth football practice at Skyway Park, Monday evening.
The Husky tight end pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for driving under the influence in Seattle Municipal Court July 15. He was sentenced to 364 days in jail, with 363 days suspended at that pretrial hearing.
Seferian-Jenkins' speech to the age 8- to 14-year-olds focused on football and making the right choices off the field.
"I said I wanted to come down and talk to them and reminisce over some football and talk to the kids, he said. The football player is originally from Gig Harbor.
The appearance was arranged before the UW's spring football camp and is not a part of any court-ordered community service, Seferian-Jenkins said.
"I didn't talk anything particularly about drinking and driving," he said after the speech. "I talked about being off the field and focusing on teachers and listening to teachers and being focused on being in the right crowd and hanging out with the right people."
It is not unusual for University of Washington athletes to participate in community appearances like this, said Jeff Bechthold, UW Athletics spokesperson.
"Our players participate in these types of community events at schools, children's hospitals, etc., throughout the year (as do members of all of our other teams)," wrote Bechthold in an email.
UW begins fall football camp Aug. 5 and whether or not Seferian-Jenkins will be allowed to attend and participate is an unanswered question.
"Coach (Steve) Sarkisian is on the East Coast as a part of the Pac-12 Media Tour," Bechthold said on Tuesday afternoon. "He won't be addressing Austin's situation one way or another until Pac-12 Media Day Friday in Los Angeles."
Seferian-Jenkins already served his one day in jail, the footballer told the Renton Reporter Monday.
When asked what he thought about during that time, Seferian-Jenkins said:"Obviously, I thought about - I made a very poor choice. I have to move on from it and it was a terrible mistake. It was really, really awakening; I woke up in there. Back to the kids, I'm just happy to be with them."
The Husky played on youth football teams in Gig Harbor growing up, including the Peninsula Youth Football league.
"I just came out here and I wanted to help the kids out and just show them that what you do on and off the field effects what you can do in your life and has consequences," he said.
The Renton Rangers pee wee team of sixth- and seventh-graders, were the 2012 league champions, making them the best of 10 teams in the Renton, Greater South Seattle and Tukwila area.