OAKLAND -- At the south end of Oakland Tech High's football field early on the afternoon of July 13, Josh Johnson watched approximately 20 quarterbacks throw.

At the same time, former Cal star Marshawn Lynch was using an arm blocking shield in a drill with running backs on the north side of the field.

The two Oakland Tech graduates and NFL players were not just hosts to hundreds of youth football players, they were enthusiastic participants in the free Fam 1st Family Youth Football Camp on July 13.

"The six to seven hours we get to spend with all those kids, it keeps you young," said Johnson, a quarterback who signed with the Cincinnati Bengals in March. "Just the interaction, having one community under one peaceful setting."

Johnson and Lynch, a 2012 Associated Press All-Pro running back with the Seattle Seahawks, have not forgotten Oakland and the camp is just one example of that.

"First and foremost, it is a way for us to show our appreciation to the community where we grew up," said Johnson, who is a 2004 Tech graduate along with Lynch. "It's a way to interact with the youth in Oakland and steer them down the positive path of guys who have been in the NFL."

A morning session was held for ages 6-12, and after Johnson, Lynch and other NFL players gave autographs to a very long line of campers, a camp for ages 13-18 was held in the afternoon.


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One of the campers was Joe Mixon, a very highly-recruited Freedom High player. Mixon is a five-star running back according to rivals.com and has scholarship offers from 50 universities.

"I came over to support Marshawn," said Mixon, who first met Lynch at this camp before Mixon played high school football.

One of the NFL athletes at the camp was DeJon Gomes, a 2007 James Logan High graduate. Gomes, a defensive back for the Washington Redskins, met Lynch when both played for the East Bay Warriors Pop Warner team.

"I just like to come out and give back," Gomes said.

Johnson and Lynch are co-founders of Fam 1st Family, a foundation that was officially formed in 2011. The foundation also held a talent show in Oakland and a bowling night in Albany on July 11 and 12 respectively.

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