How NFL brothers Tanner, Nick Muse are using football to give back to their NC hometown

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BELMONT — Tanner and Nick Muse once had simple dreams of taking the field at South Point’s Lineberger Stadium and playing for the hometown Red Raiders. Eventually those dreams blossomed, including gridiron stardom at Clemson and South Carolina and the opportunity to play in the NFL.

A stone’s throw from where the brothers became household names, the two scratched through another lifelong goal. Weeks away from reporting to their respective NFL training camps, they hosted their inaugural football camp at South Point High School on Friday.

More than 100 youths from third through ninth grade took part in footwork and tackling drills, along with learning techniques for future use on the gridiron.

“It comes full circle, big time,” Tanner Muse said. “I remember coming to (former Kansas City Royals pitcher) Devon Lowery’s camp, Tyson Graham coming out and helping him. I remember it being a big deal to me being around the pros, seeing how they train and teaching us the fundamentals. Thankfully, I’m blessed enough to come out and do the same.”

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Largely advertised via social media, Nick Muse wasn’t sure what to expect when he pulled up to the school.

“We didn’t know if it was going to be 20 or 30, we didn’t know if it was going to be 300,” he said. “We had enough shirts for everybody, which is a good thing because we ordered 250. We had a big turnout, a good turnout especially for the first one. And it was free, anyone could come, anyone that heard about it, knew about it, no matter where you were from. Especially if they were in the third through (ninth) grade, though I’m sure I saw a few first or second graders snuck in here.”

A 2015 graduate of South Point High, Tanner was a four-year letter winner and two-time national champion at Clemson, where he was credited with 237 career tackles. He also had seven interceptions, four sacks, a forced fumble and two defensive touchdowns.

He was selected in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Las Vegas Raiders. After missing that season due to a toe injury, he was released by the Raiders prior to the start of the 2021 season. Seattle signed the Belmont native to its practice team shortly after, with him making the team’s 53-man roster last December.

“I’m super excited playing a new position (linebacker), really getting to show myself in Seattle,” he said. “I’m super excited to get down there and get back to work.”

As for brother Nick, he is preparing for his rookie season with the Minnesota Vikings. Drafted in the seventh round, he caught 101 career passes for 1,303 yards and five touchdowns at William & Mary and South Carolina.

“I’m at home (for the offseason) instead of doing up-downs at 8 a.m. and what not, and pushing sleds,” he said of the differences between the college offseason and that of the NFL. “It’s more of a professional side here, they want you to get your legs under you because it’s a long season.

“You have hopefully 20 games. Preseason, 17 games and the postseason, that’s more than college. College we had 13 my last year and we went to a bowl game. So, it’s a long season and they want you well prepared and rested because when you go back it’s from July to February, and you’re working the whole time.”

On this day, however, the brothers’ focus was offering the opportunity to dream.

“It was a dream of ours to put on something like this,” Tanner Muse said. “Thankfully we’ve been put in a position to do something like this, so we felt it was our responsibility to give back to the town and the kids because we were once in their shoes hoping to one day try to make it.

“Thankfully we are here and trying to give them a little light at the end of the tunnel. That if you put in the hard work your dreams can come true.”

You can reach Joe Hughes at 704-914-8138, email jhughes@gastongazette.com and follow on Twitter @JoeLHughesII.

This article originally appeared on The Gaston Gazette: NFL Brothers Tanner, Nick Muse use football as means to give back