Photo Courtesy of Nancy Nahas NFL players posing for a picture with fans.

Photo Courtesy of Nancy Nahas

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, former New York Giants cornerback, visited Brandon Regional Hospital on April 7 to spend time with kids in the hospital. He and a few of his NFL friends joined the children in doing artwork and visiting with them. Rodgers-Cromartie said he wanted to celebrate his 32nd birthday by doing something meaningful for the community. He played football at Lakewood Ranch High School in Bradenton and later went on to play college football at Tennessee State.

Players that were a part of the festivities include Browns wide receiver Corey Coleman, Ravens safety Anthony Levine, Cowboys defensive end Damontre’ Moore and twin brothers, UCF standout Shaquem Griffin and Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin.

Rodgers-Cromartie also put together a celebrity basketball tournament in Palmetto to raise money for his charity, the DRC Foundation. “It means a lot,” said Rodgers-Cromartie. “Any time you can come back and have a platform, I think you should always use it and be a part of the community, and let everybody know that if you believe in yourself, you can do anything that you want to.”

According to the website, the DRC Foundation provides opportunities to disadvantaged youth through programs and events that address the educational needs, social elements, and economic hardship of young people and families in underserved communities.

The former NFL 1st-round pick has a scholarship fund which awards a scholarship to a student-athlete from the Bradenton area. He also partakes in several other programs that help underprivileged youth, such as his Holiday Program and the Dreambuilders program that provides essential nutrition to kids in need in the New York City area, and it also supports the St. Jude’s Research Hospital, and its efforts to find cures and save children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

An 11-year NFL veteran, Rodgers-Cromartie is currently a free agent and wants to sign with another team to continue playing in the NFL. For more information, or if you would like to donate to his cause, you can visit his website at

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Nick Nahas has written for the Osprey Observer since 2016. He has lived in the Valrico area since 2002 and has his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. He is dedicated to covering sports in Hillsborough County at every level.