Joe Cribbs bringing camp to Pelham

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

PELHAM – Former Auburn University and three-time NFL Pro Bowl running back Joe Cribbs is bringing his popular youth football camp to Pelham July 17-19 and is partnering with the Pelham YMCA of Greater Birmingham to help put the camp on.

The camp will be available for young people interested in football ages 8-14 and will go from 5:30-8:30 p.m. each night. The cost of the camp is $20 for one day or $50 for all three days and you are also welcome to sponsor a camper for $20 a day.

Joe Pro Football Camps have served thousands of youth football players over the years with each camp designed to strengthen communities by enhancing them with life skills that can be learned and developed through the game of football.

Cribbs spent four years at Auburn from 1976-1979 and ran for a total of 3,368 yards and 34 touchdowns, which puts him fourth on the all-time rushing list at the university behind names like Bo Jackson, Carnell Williams and James Brooks. That success was in large part due to his breakout junior year where Cribbs ran for 1,205 yards and 16 touchdowns on 253 attempts.

During that 1978 season, he averaged easily over 100 yards per game and had one of the greatest rushing performances in school history with 250 yards against Georgia, which is the fifth best single game performance in school history. He followed that up with a 1,120-yard senior season including 14 touchdowns.

His strong play with the Tigers was just the beginning of something special as Cribbs made the jump to the NFL in 1980 after graduating from Auburn.

He was drafted in the 1980 NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills in the second round and went on to start all 16 games during his rookie year with the franchise. As a rookie, he ran for a jaw-dropping 1,185 yards and 11 touchdowns earning a consensus AFC Rookie of the Year award and cementing his first Pro Bowl appearance.

He wasn’t just one of the best rookie players in the NFL that season, but his 1,185 yards gave him the sixth most yards by any NFL running back in 1980. Not only did he make the NFL ALL-Star game, but was the only rookie to be in the starting lineup from both the AFC and NFC. Cribbs followed that strong rookie season with two more consecutive Pro Bowl worthy seasons.

He went on to play in the USFL and NFL over the next few years before officially retiring.

Now, Cribbs spends most of his time traveling around teaching kids in his youth football camp, with other former NFL players as he tries to teach kids not just the proper fundamentals and techniques, but the right qualities on how to be a good person in life to chase after their dreams.

To register for the Joe Pro Football Camp, you can register online at Ymcabham.org/register-for-programs, and if you have any questions you can email Jmead@ymcabham.org.