Former Michigan State University and NFL player Michael Cobb visited DeKalb County High School Tuesday morning where he addressed a group of local student athletes, coaches, teachers and sports enthusiasts.
These days, Cobb is busy throwing out ideas to help young people make positive choices.
Cobb was an All-City football and basketball player while growing up in Youngstown, Ohio. He was All Big-10 in 1975 and '76 while playing football at Michigan State.
Cobb (6-foot-5, 244 pounds) was a first-round draft pick (22nd overall) of the Cincinnati Bengals in 1977 and went on to play four other seasons with the Chicago Bears. He also played in the United States Football League (1983-84), where he led the Michigan Panthers with 62 catches and helped win the first-ever USFL championship. He also played for the Birmingham Stallions before retiring when the USFL folded after the 1985 season.
"We have to be very, very careful of who we listen to and who we respond to," said Cobb, who said he was led astray by his aunt in his childhood days. "For some reason, I had the wisdom enough to realize that I needed to listen to people that really cared about me and not the people that were trying to lead me in the wrong direction.
"It was a combination of events that made me see the light."
Cobb has been to more than 3,000 schools and talked to over 1 million students.
"I'm just reinforcing things kids have already heard or are starting to tune out," said Cobb, who has been touring the country for more than 25 years. "It never gets old.
"I change my talk when I speak to older groups, but the truth is universal. People are seeking the truth and when they hear it, 90 percent respond."
State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver joined Cobb on his visit to DCHS and at other schools in her district.