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Wilfork stays true to his Florida roots

06.21.10 at 3:45 pm ET

Vince Wilfork has got Florida in his bones. The Sunshine State native grew up in Florida, went to Santaluces High School in Lantana, Fla. and played his college ball at the University of Miami. (In fact, when he was considering other options before he returned to sign a long-term deal with the Patriots, he hinted that he’d love to return to Florida.)

So when he returned home recently to watch the 2010 Heath Evans 7-on-7 tournament (an affair put together by the former Patriots fullback which drew plenty of Evans’ former teammates ‘€” for more on the outcome, click here), who’s better to beat the drum about the state of football in Florida than Wilfork? In an interview with, the Patriots nose tackle talked a lot about players who caught his eye, the importance of academics, and vast amount of talent in the Sunshine State.

One answer that stood out was Wilfork’s advice for younger players struggling to get their academics in order.

“Grades are worth everything,” Wilfork said. “I had to sit out six months because I didn’€™t have them and that was one of the hardest times of my life. If you don’€™t have them in order, get them in order now. Get your test grades and get all that good stuff. Football will take care of itself. After football, you need something to fall back on and that’€™s where having some education behind you and being able to go into these big schools. I hope a lot of these guys listen to me because I’€™ve been through that and I don’€™t want to wish it on anyone.”

Read More: Heath Evans, Vince Wilfork,



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