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Orakpo Fuels Up Students To Play 60

Posted Jun 7, 2013

Redskins OLB Brian Orakpo spent his off day on Friday surprising students of Samuel Ogle Middle School through the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, and educating them about diet and physical activity.

With Redskins OTAs wrapping up yesterday at Redskins Park, players are free from obligation for the weekend, with an opportunity to spend time with family or friends away from the gridiron.

Redskins All-Pro linebacker Brian Orakpo chose to spend his Friday in a different manner, reporting to Samuel Ogle Middle School in Bowie, Md. to surprise student-athletes with a Fuel Up to Play 60 presentation, with representatives from the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association.

Fuel Up to Play 60, sponsored locally by the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, empowers students to make changes at school that will help them get active and play for 60 minutes daily and fuel up with nutrient-rich foods missing from their diets – like low-fat and fat-free dairy foods, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein foods.

Orakpo spoke to two different groups of students, first teaching about the value of eating a well-balanced diet, and then a second group about the importance of preparing your body for physical activity.

"It’s always important to eat healthy, especially when you’re burning a lot of calories through activities such as football," he told the students. "That’s the only way we can go out there and perform for you guys, go out there and have great games and win on Sundays, and that’s to have a good diet and make sure we’re on top of our game."

Orakpo recanted how he didn't start playing football until he was their age in middle school and didn't take his diet into consideration for performance until college.

Before college, he might snack on chips and popcorn, things that will ultimately slow him down. Now his preferred snack? Yogurt.

"I love yogurt," he said. "When I started eating healthy, I found that was one of my favorites."

In a tradition that he has carried throughout his time as a Washington Redskin, his pre-game diet usually consists of spaghetti, lean chicken, broccoli and a bowl of fruit.

After the first assembly, Orakpo reported to the gym and was welcomed by the school band playing a spot-on rendition of the Redskins' fight song.

Orakpo had fun with the students, asking how many of them cheered for their hometown team, only a 15-minute drive from FedExField.

"How many of you guys out here are Redskins fans; you let me know, raise your hands," he asked with a broad smile. "How many of you cheer for some other team? I don't like any of those teams you guys just shouted.

"Regardless of what team you love, regardless of what team you cheer for on Sundays, we’re all in the same boat. Fuel up to play 60, to have a great diet, to eat healthy, and to make sure we stay active in the community. 

"We’re going to have a lot of fun today, I’m glad to be here with you guys, and let’s keep it running, lets rock and roll.”

Orakpo led everyone in a round of stretches that the team conducts before every practice. As he noted, flexibility is the key to avoiding most muscle and joint injuries.

All along the way, Orakpo answered questions from students. Here is a list of some of the best questions and answers from the Q&A sessions:

Student: "Do you think you will ever be as good as cornerback Darrell Green?"

Orakpo: "I’ve sacked a lot of quarterbacks, but my favorite--who talks a lot of smack--is [Giants quarterback] Eli [Manning]. I know it doesn’t seem like it, but he’s a good competitor."

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Student: "Do you think you will ever be as good as cornerback Darrell Green?"

Orakpo: "That’s some tough shoes to fill, but also you know Green is a legend, a huge role model for myself. He really has paved the way for a lot of Redskins. I play extremely hard to try to emulate him."

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Student: "What team do you fear the most?"

Orakpo: "I don't fear anyone, and this goes for any team in the NFL. There is no team I am scared of. You just go out there and try and win the ball game."

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Student: "Do you have a favorite teammate?"

Orakpo: "I have a lot of friends out there, all of them are my brothers so it's kind of hard to choose. There’s some guys that are obviously closer –Trent Williams is one of my best friends on the team, Fred Davis is one of my good friends. If you wanted me to pick one, those would be my two best ones."

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Student: "Who do you thank most for your success?"

Orakpo: "I would have to say my mother. She raised me extremely well to be in this position that I’m at right now…. Work hard, great work ethic raising three children I got a lot of motivation from her. Also, the coaches that have helped me grow to where I am at right now all the way through middle school, highs school, college and in the pros- I thank them as well."

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