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Cambridge Christian's Richard Gouraige attends NFL Prep Academy

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Tue. June 23, 2015 | Kelly Parsons

Cambridge Christian's Richard Gouraige attends NFL Prep Academy

Cambridge Christian DE Richard Gouraige may still be years away from a possible career in the NFL, but last week, the rising sophomore got a taste of what a career in football might look — both on and off the field.

Gouraige was one of 41 rising sophomores across the nation to participate in the inaugural NFL Prep Academy, a four-day, invitation-only program formed to teach elite high school players about the value of education, leadership and community outreach. Lancers' coach Bob Dare joined Gouraige for the Academy, which was held at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Business School in Philadelphia, and he was delighted by the lessons Gouraige took away from the experience.

"I think one (thing he learned) is, he realized that he might be tall, but there's a lot of tall guys in America. There were a lot of guys who looked like they were physically gifted athletes there," Dare said. "Obviously the NFL is making an investment in leadership and character development. They spent very little time talking about actual football."

Dare said the Academy kicked off with an opening dinner at the Philadelphia Eagles' facility, where NFL Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz delivered a keynote address to the student athletes. Gouraige's invitation to the NFL Prep Academy, Dare said, was a result of a nomination by a recruiter in the state. 

Gouraige, a 6-foot-5, 250-pound defensive end, already has interest from some of the best programs in the nation and offers from Middle Tennessee State, Florida Atlantic and Kentucky. But what Dare is most pleased about from Gouraige's opportunity at the NFL Prep Academy are the lessons he'll bring back to the Lancers.

"We're expecting him to be a leader. Most of my team is rising sophomores now and I'm depending on that class of kids to become leaders not only on the team but in the school," he said. "(The experience) was really exciting. Pretty much everyone that was there was like, 'Wow, I'm not really sure how we got here, but this is really neat.'"

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