Former Minnesota Vikings linebacker and Vermillion-native, Ben Leber, was back in his home state to promote a healthy lifestyle for kids. He spoke to the students of Robert Frost Elementary about the impact of good nutrition and staying active.
"Besides education, childhood obesity, getting kids active, and food and nutrition is the second most important thing we can teach our kids," Leber said. "It is a big thing as professional athletes we can be influential as."
In his 10-year NFL career, Leber has made stops with the Chargers, the Vikings and the Rams. After being cut by St. Louis last season, Leber is hoping a new job will present itself in free agency.
"For me, sit and wait," he said. "this year free agency has gone pretty slow. Take that one step further, linebacker free agency has been very slow. For whatever reason nobody can understand why."
As a member of the Vikings, Leber played in the 2009 NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints. The NFL has cited that game as an example of the existence of the Saints bounty program, where defensive players were paid for injuring opposing players.
Leber believes the penalties handed down by the league were fair.
"The incentive to take someone out of the game using monetary purposes is absurd and should not be part of the game," Leber said. "Frankly, I am glad they got caught, and they are going to pay the price."
If his playing days are over, he has a few ideas for life after football.
"Business-wise, I would like to try my hand in some business stuff," he said. "I would like to try my hand at the media side of football."