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Football's Simpson making a difference in the community

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Miles Simpson started 11 of UK's 12 games as a redshirt sophomore in 2012. (Josh McCoy, UK Athletics) Miles Simpson started 11 of UK's 12 games as a redshirt sophomore in 2012. (Josh McCoy, UK Athletics)
For Miles Simpson, this summer has been a learning experience that extends beyond the walls of a classroom.

While most students spend their summers enjoying a break from a grueling school schedule, the UK redshirt junior linebacker has been busy dedicating his time to his sport, his classwork and the community.

The kinesiology major first visited the Boys and Girls Club in downtown Lexington as part of a practicum for class last year, and immediately began bonding with some of the kids. As a result, Simpson decided to become a member of the Boys and Girls Club staff, spending his summer working its daily camp.

Although handling over 70 kids is no easy task, Simpson has enjoyed his experience thus far.

"It's fun to be around them," he said. "They can look up to me, not just as a friend, but as a positive role model."

For a lot of the children who attend the camp, Simpson's presence has meant a great deal.

"They think it's cool I play football, and they see me everyday so I'm someone they can count on," said Simpson.

Not only has Simpson - who totaled 70 tackles during the 2012 season, his first as a starter - been able to teach the kids about what it takes to be a college athlete, but he's learned a little bit from them as well.

"They've taught me to have a lot more patience. If I didn't have patience I'd constantly be yelling at them or telling them what to do," he said. "I've learned to listen to both sides of the story."

Throughout the week, Simpson and the other staff members and volunteers take the kids on field trips to local parks, swimming pools and the occasional movie. One of the more rewarding moments came when he was able to help encourage one of the kids to jump off the high-dive at Woodland Park after spending about 10 minutes building up the boy's courage.

While Simpson may only work the afternoons at Boys and Girls Club, his days begin around 6 a.m. with football workouts and often don't end until after a 7 p.m. tutor session. Simpson's focus this summer is establishing himself as a key cog in Mark Stoops' first Kentucky defense while continuing to progress toward graduation.

"It's hard to balance work with school and football," he said. "Some days I have to come in earlier for football because I have class right after, then I have to go to work straight after that. It's really tiring."

Even though he admits that some days at work are tougher than the rest, Simpson, who first began working summer camps for YMCA Camp Ernst in Burlington, Ky., hopes to continue working with kids in the future.

After pursuing his football career after college, Simpson aspires to be a personal trainer, and would enjoy helping young kids and high school athletes reach their full potential.

"I want to help them get to the next level," he said.

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2 Comments

With all the negative press about athletes these days it is nice to hear about such a fine young man. He possesses an attitude that will serve him well for the rest of his life. No doubt he will be a great success in whatever field he chooses to pursue and the community he chooses to be a part of will be greatly enhanced by his presence.
This article was extremely well written and was a pleasure to read.

I know him personally and he is very hard working young man, who deserves some closer attention!

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  • John Walter: I know him personally and he is very hard working young man, who deserves some closer attention! read more
  • Shelly & Gene: With all the negative press about athletes these days it is nice to hear about such a fine young man. read more