MOODY, Ala. (WIAT) – A town of around 12,000 people has longer odds than most of producing an NFL-caliber player. It isn’t impossible, though. See Chad Slade from Moody, currently on the roster of the Houston Texans. After a stand-out career at Auburn where he started 49 games he signed a rookie free agent deal in May of 2015. “[At] twelve it was just a dream for me to be playing where I’m at now. I just had to make it into a reality,” he reflected.
Slade credits his rise to the NFL to hard work and dedication, a message he’s bringing back to his hometown for his second annual Chad Slade 62 Football Camp. “Back in the day I had the chance to go to camps and I had the chance to see how it affected kids’ lives, and i want to affect kids’ lives here in my hometown,” Slade said. The camp will focus on more than X’s and O’s, with speakers addressing the campers throughout the day. “We also want to make it a learning experience, teaching the kids lessons in life – you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, put in the hard work to get it.”
Hard work is something Slade says he’s seen with the 2016 Auburn Tigers. He recently visited the plains during a players-only workout and came away impressed. “I see a hungry want-to team, which I saw back in 2013,” he observed. Slade was on the 2010 and 2013 teams that played in BCS National Championship Games behind high-octane offenses led by Gus Malzahn. The years between and the 2015 season saw the offense sputter. Slade said fixing and re-energizing the offense isn’t as simple as fans may think. “The key to the offense succeeding is everyone working as a unit. Some people may say, ‘Oh they’re going to slow’; it’s just the defense is giving us the look we don’t really want,” he explained. “Once we get that first first down we’re going to go fast with it. There’s just a lot at work in the makings of that offense.”
Slade will return to Texas for mini-camp on July 29th. His camp is on July 16th at Moody City Park and is a free event for kids 6-18 years old.