Former Futures Football player Phillip Lindsay inspires next generation

May 28, 2018 | by Aric DiLalla, Denver Broncos

On Wednesday, May 23, more than 200 youth football players gathered at Sports Authority Field at Mile High for the annual Futures Football Banquet. The Futures program, which is supported by the Broncos, gives kids in Denver the opportunity to play tackle football and to develop personally.

Since it began in 2008, the Futures Football program has seen its share of talented players. Perhaps no one has enjoyed much as success, though, as former Futures player Phillip Lindsay. The running back was a member of the inaugural class of Futures Football players before he went on to Denver South High School and then the University of Colorado.

Lindsay is now a member of the Broncos’ 2018 rookie class. He signed with the team as a college free agent after the draft, and he’ll compete for a roster spot over the coming weeks and into training camp. On Wednesday, though, Lindsay stood in front of the hundreds of Futures players to share his own experience with the young players.

After he helped hand out awards to the championship teams, Lindsay shared a few thoughts about his time at the Futures Football Banquet.

How important was the Futures Football program to you in helping you develop as both a player and a person?

It was very important. It’s where I made my first friends going into high school, and that’s very important when you’re going into high school: being able to be comfortable. On the football field, it gives you motivation. You’re going into eighth grade and then you’re going into high school, and that’s where it all started for me. I did well in eighth grade with the Futures program, and it molded me into the player I was in high school and then into college.

When you were in the Futures Football program, did you believe you could someday earn a spot on an NFL roster?

Yeah, I did. I always had confidence in myself. At the time, though, all I worried about was high school and college. That’s it. Everything else takes care of itself when time goes by, and that’s how I’ve always been. When I was in college, I just worried about college. Now that I’m in the NFL, it’s time for me to worry about my NFL career.

What was it like to share your message with this generation of Futures Football players?

It felt good. It brought back a lot of good memories from when I played in the Futures program. It shows that you can be from the Denver Public Schools [and have a football career]. I represent the DPS hard. That’s where I came from. I was just one of those kids, and now I have the opportunity that I do now. There’s going to be a kid out there — hopefully there’s more than one — that will do the same thing.

What’d you think of Todd Davis’ speech about the adversity he overcame to earn a starting job in the NFL?

Todd is a great man, and to be able to hear his story, it gave me hope. It opened my eyes. He’s a leader and a big contributor to our team. I’m glad he’s on our team.

Can he be a role model to you as an undrafted player?

Definitely. Todd is a role model for me. He’s doing something that I want to do, and for some time, he’s been doing it. I have nothing but respect for him, and I can’t wait to be on the same field with him.