Cleat Geeks

Feelgood Friday; An NFL Prom

 Photo Charles Rex Arbogast

Photo Charles Rex Arbogast

Cameron Erving, was the Cleveland Browns’ first-round pick in last years draft, therefore, he is just a few years removed from his high school career. But over the weekend he went back to school, if only for a night to accompany a very special lady to prom.

Erving escorted 17-year old Elna Wright to the Elyria High School prom, standing in after Wright’s boyfriend passed away several months ago, leaving her without a date.

Despite being wheelchair-bound and non-verbal because of a disorder called Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia, Wright is one of the most popular girls at her school. In fact, she was voted homecoming queen in the fall and known for her wide smile.

cameron.erving.promWright’s father took to social media to see if one of the Cleveland’s sports stars would step up and escort Elna, posting it on Twitter. Wright’s mother, Ingrid, told ClevelandBrowns.com that she, unlike her husband, was apprehensive at first, unsure what the response would be.

But then the Wrights got word that Erving wanted to help. Not only did he help, he went all out.

“It was basically kind of a last-minute thing. I jumped at the opportunity because I felt like it was something that she deserved,” Erving told the team website. “I mean, I heard the story of how her boyfriend passed away and I know how she didn’t have a date at the time. I jumped at the opportunity because I felt like, in my heart, it was the right thing to do.”

“She loves the Browns,” Ingrid Wright said. “She was on top of the world, on Cloud 9. She was overwhelmed, she was so excited…He wanted to do it right, he wanted her to have a great experience.”

Erving arranged for a limo, got fitted for a tuxedo, and picked Elna Wright up at her house, meeting her parents and extended family. Then, the couple went to the town’s historic square for pictures before heading to the dance.

And while he undoubtedly left an impression on Wright and her family for his kind gesture, Erving said the night has greatly impacted him as well.CameronPromWaterfall

“I think it definitely means more to me now than the day of. Like, I don’t want to get into talking about me, but just personally everything that I went through on the field and as a player, I wasn’t in my element. I didn’t give back and I didn’t do the things that I did when I was in college,” he said.

“It was just like I was lost. And I’ve come back and been more involved in the community and give back a little bit. Just to see how happy she was all the time, to see her smile, it made my day.

“And it made me realize that, regardless of what happens on the football field, people are going to remember what you do off the field,” he continued.

“They may remember what happens on the field, but people are always going to remember what you do off the field. And I want to be remembered as someone who cares about people genuinely. And that’s all that matters to me.”

Erving played in all 16 games for the Browns last season, with four starts. He played at both guard positions, but was drafted as a center and is focused on playing that position this season after Pro Bowl center Alex Mack signed with Atlanta.

Parts of this article were written by Shalise Manza Young

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