Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Brett Romberg knows the importance of having a solid education. A native of Windsor, Ontario, Romberg grew up in a town where many of his friends worked at automotive factories earning close to minimum wage. Romberg knew that this was something he did not want to do. When the University of Miami offered him a football scholarship, he seized the opportunity.
"Getting an opportunity to play football was great, but getting the education and degree was just as important. I had to jump at the chance," Romberg said. "I had a lot of pressure on me, though, because nobody in my family had ever gone to college."
After graduating with a degree in business administration, Romberg felt he needed to continue his education and pursue his master's degree.
"In this day and age you need something above that, more than just a regular university degree," Romberg said. "You need something that is going to make you stand out over others."
He is three courses short of finishing his master's degree and hopes to finish it in the near future. Meanwhile, he is spending lots of time this off season working out at Alltel stadium and visiting schools around Jacksonville, stressing the importance of education.
"It is important to show children and people in the community how important education really is. You have got to get your education," Romberg said after recently reading to a second-grade class. "School needs to come first, football and sports come second."
"By me coming and reading to an elementary school class for an hour and showing students that a football player reads too, that's important. Hopefully that gets them excited to read more and take their education more seriously," Romberg added.
After Romberg's playing days are over he has aspirations of starting football camps for children back in his hometown of Windsor, Ontario. He recently saw the impact the Super Bowl had on his town when Super Bowl XL was played in nearby Detroit.
"People really love football up there. They were enamored with all of the current players and former NFL players that visited the town during Super Bowl week," Romberg said. "I think by me setting up a football camp, it will be a great way for me to interact with children and to introduce many of them to the game of football."
However, Romberg's immediate concern is on this upcoming season for the Jaguars. He is busy working out everyday, gearing up for the season. He recently spoke with new assistant head coach/offense Mike Tice and it left him excited about the season ahead.
"I feel with the addition of coach Tice he is only going to make me a better player and I'm excited about that," Romberg added. "This team is very close to being a legitimate Super Bowl contender."