NFL first-round draft pick Cory Liuget talked with and worked out with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School football players Tuesday at Pine Trails Park not far from the school.
"Don't let anything get you down," Liuget, a starting defensive lineman for the LA chargers told the players, who lost their beloved assistant coach, Aaron Feis, in the Valentine's Day massacre.
Luiget, who played for Hialeah High, never met Feis, but was influenced by many like him.
"The thing that moved me is the fact that I had some great high school coaches that mentored me. They did a fantastic job and they got me to where I am today," Liuget said.
Before going through drills with the Douglas players, the NFL standout quietly announced he is founding a scholarship program in honor of their late coach. Liuget knows what the world now knows, that Feis died a hero, squaring off between the shooter and students and saving lives.
"He did the best he could. He gave his life for someone. I don't know if I'm built for that myself, to be completely honest," Liuget said.
The NFL starter said the Douglas player who receives the annual Coach Aaron Feis Scholarship must be in the top half of his class and exhibit Feis's qualities: Have a big heart, great character, be generous, and put others before himself.
"I am very thankful he's doing this for us, for the team. It helps a lot," said football player Preston Sasser.
Coaches called the NFL player's visit salve for fresh wounds.
"These kids need this. They're still going through the healing process, and this is just another step forward to get these guys back to some type of normality," said Douglas Coach Quinton Short.
In concluding his pep talk to the players, Liuget said something Aaron Feis might have: "Always be a kind person. Be a humble person. Be a loving person," he said.
Liuget founded the Feis Scholarship with a personal, $10,000 donation. It's hoped the program will be able to maintain a $50,000 balance.
Anyone wanting to contribute may do so here: https://www.gofundme.com/CoachAaronFeisscholarshipfund