When the Chiefs locked up linebacker Justin Houston on a six-year extension worth $101 million ($52.5 million guaranteed), Houston wasn’t the only one smiling.
So were his teammates.
“It’s big for us,” Chiefs wide receiver Junior Hemingway said Saturday while at Trey Hobson’s youth football camp at Shawnee Mission East High School.
“To have Justin back, man, it’s a good move for us. We can keep pushing, keep doing what we’re doing as a team, keep building, keep grinding, and get going — and try and get this ring.”
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To Hemingway, Houston is not just the best defensive player on the Chiefs, but the best in the league.
“In my eyes,” Hemingway said. “He’s the best.”
Houston’s extension not only affects nearly every defensive snap for the Chiefs, but in the weight room and locker room as well, because of his leadership and work ethic, Hemingway said.
“His work ethic, just the person who he is, just being around him,” Hemingway said of what makes Houston so special. “You can feed off of that.”
Chiefs safety Sanders Commings, who was also at the camp, said Houston was worthy of the biggest contract in Chiefs’ history.
“That guy deserves every penny,” Commings said. “He’s one of the hardest workers on the team — most vocal leader, also leads by example.
“His work ethic definitely rubs off on the rest of the team. He makes it easy on the rest of the defense. He can make a play before it even gets started, getting to their quarterback so fast.”
Former Mizzou Player Gives Back
Hemingway and Commings were volunteering at Trey Hobson’s camp, followed by an autograph session at Wing Lovers USA in Leawood.
Hobson played high school ball at Blue Valley High and went on to Missouri as a defensive back from 2007-11. He now coaches the defensive backs unit at Shawnee Mission East.
“What I wanted to do was bring out kids from all types of areas and expose them to NFL guys, get them around those guys,” Hobson said. “And motivate them a little bit.”
Comings and Hemingway, along with offensive tackle Donald Stephenson, represented the Chiefs contingent at the camp and autograph session.
“Basically all I gotta do is call them,” Hobson said. “They’ll do anything for the kids.”
While the kids hawked near Hobson’s neon green Nike duffel bag, craving some football gear, Hobson made sure they earned it by quizzing them.
“What’s the square root of 64?” he shouted above the screams of children.
Hobson said more than 140 kids attended his camp to benefit his foundation, TH3 Company.
Wing Lovers USA specializes in non-profit charity work, feeding the homeless and donating 20 percent of its profits from special events like Saturday’s, said Christopher Galloway, one of the restaurant’s owners.
“It was a great experience,” Galloway said. “We really enjoyed the players come out and take part in the camp and then coming in and taking time out of their busy schedules to sign autographs.”