WATCH: Philadelphia Eagles getting help from East Texas alums

TYLER, Texas (KETK) - High school football is king in East Texas.

And college, as well as professional programs, take notice.

For the Philadelphia Eagles, it never hurts to have a couple of guys from the Pineywoods on your roster, no matter what their role might be.

When we think of a football team, we often focus on the guys suited up for game day.

But, in order to create a championship season, you have to have championship players, on and off the field.

Three East Texans exemplify these traits.

First, let's begin with "The Starter."

Lane Johnson plays right tackle for the Eagles, and is one of the most important parts of the team's offense.

But, he got his start at Groveton High School, where he met Chase Ford, who played at rival Corrigan-Camden.

The two then played at Kilgore College together, where Ford now serves as the tight ends coach, before playing one another in the NFL.

"You know we're from Corrigan and Groveton, two unknown towns in Texas and are playing in the National Football League," Ford says. "Som you know, it was kind of cool as far as that aspect. I'd like to say hey man we made it."

And as well as Johnson has played this season, Ford says watch how better he can be when the brightest lights start shining Sunday night.

"He's going to play great," Ford says. "Watch just sit out there and watch it. There's no doubt in my mind."

Now ,we switch to the second piece of the puzzle, "The Mentor," Queen City's Jason Peters, who is a veteran on the offensive line, but was injured back in October..

But, the East Texan has embraced his role off the field, making sure his guys, including Johnson, are ready for the challenge. And he doesn't expect to let this injury derail his career.

"That ain't how I'm built," Peters says. "That ain't how I'm built and I just take it and anytime I get injured i take it like it was meant to happen to me and I take and roll with it."

So, that brings us to our third piece of the puzzle, "The Work Horse."

Greg Ward, Jr., made a name for himself, playing quarterback at John Tyler and the University of Houston.

This past season, he was picked up as a wide receiver by the Eagles and has been part of their practice squad.

Two men who know him very well, and what he can add to a team, are John Tyler head basketball coach Ceneno Clark and head football coach Ricklan Holmes.

"You know, it's just like when he was playing at John Tyler, just like when we was playing at Houston," Holmes says. "Everything that he went through at each individual level got him prepared to be the type of player that he is right now."

"Young men like Greg Ward are well-deserved of the situation, because he's such a hard worker and such a competitor," Clark says. "You know, whatever it is, he's done every level, he's been on middle school, high school, college and even in the professionals. It just seems that winning attracts to the young man."

So whether it's the "The Work Horse,"  "The Mentor,"  or "The Starter," for Philadelphia, they're in good hands, because they've got all three covered, by East Texas football alums.


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