The glare from his huge Super Bowl ring threatens to blind onlookers as LSU alum and New York Giants cornerback Corey Webster projects it on the large screen inside LSU’s Bo Campbell Auditorium. But the bling of his ring isn’t the only thing that catches their attention on a warm June evening. A hush falls over the freshman and sophomore LSU athletes there to listen to Webster speak about “protecting their brand.”
Webster’s credibility with the crowd is borne from the fact that he has been where they are now, and he’s now exactly where they want to be. A champion, sure, but more importantly, Webster has been a good role model. His message is about more than sports. It’s about real life.
“Now that you’re here,” Webster says, “you’re representing a lot besides yourself. You’re also repping LSU, your family, your high school and your community. So make them proud.”
Webster now runs the Corey Webster Foundation, and programs like this are just one prong of approach for the group he formed to give back.
“Suited For Success” is one. It involves college students going back into K-12 schools to mentor students in surrounding areas. Webster has also partnered with LSU Football Alumni Relations and the Cox Center for Student Athlete Success to encourage former players to return to college and finish getting their degrees.
Describing his work with current students, Webster says his foundation will have regular checkups with student-athletes on grades and conduct, and teach them how to handle themselves in public.
“You have to have your image lined up right to even go volunteer in the community,” Webster says.
When a hand goes up at the lecture, Webster quickly calls on a fresh-faced youngster.
“If you could go back to your freshman year,” she asks, “what would you do differently?”
Webster has his degree, but as opposing receivers know, he’s always striving for improvement, to do better.
“I would get my degree in three years, and maybe get my graduate degree with my other two years of eligibility,” Webster answers. “Use your resources.”
Another asks him how athletes should handle the public when volunteering and appearing at community events.
“You should always want a person to feel better in your presence—whether it’s a stranger or not,” he says.
The foundation is just one step Webster is taking to build a life that will sustain him long after he hangs up his cleats and helmet. Some have trouble coping after pro football is over. This Vachere native won’t be one of them.