National Football Foundation

News Detail

John Urschel’s Mom Offers Perspective on Her Son Playing Football
Latest Interview in NFF “I’m A Football Mom” series highlights Venita Parker’s perspective on the benefits of her son’s gridiron experiences.
Published: 5/10/2017 11:00:00 AM

IRVING, Texas (May 10, 2017)
– The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame released today the newest video in its “I’m A Football Mom” series, featuring Venita Parker, the mother of former Penn State offensive guard and 2013 NFF William V. Campbell Trophy recipient John Urschel. Click here to watch the video.

The Venita Parker interview captures her perspective on how she addressed the safety concerns of having her son play football, and the importance of football in turning her son into a well-rounded individual. Urschel is currently pursuing his PhD in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology while playing in the NFL for the Baltimore Ravens. Parker said the key in addressing her concerns centered on becoming knowledgeable and ensuring that her son’s coaches put his safety first.

“I know sports can be dangerous, but it’s the same thing as a parent, you have to do your homework,” Parker says in the video. “Anything that your child becomes involved in, whether it’s sports or even academically, you just keep your finger on the pulse of things to make sure that your child is getting a benefit and it does not become a detriment.”

The “I’m A Football Mom” initiative was launched last year by the NFF to highlight the unique perspectives of mothers around the country who believe in the benefits of having their sons and daughters play football. The initiative features a series of videos and stories that are promoted in social media and on, the NFF’s digital platform for promoting the good in the game.

“The National Football Foundation makes a concerted effort to create opportunities for all the groups who influence the game and play a role in supporting our mission,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “Whether it is coaches, players, officials, administrators, or parents, the NFF works to engage all the people who support the game. Moms represent one of the most powerful influences in a young person’s development, and the ‘I’m A Football Mom’ initiative gives them a voice in the promotion of the game.”

The Parker/Urschel video marks the second video in the series, and both have been produced by Business Media Group (BMG) of Indianapolis, Ind. The initiative’s first video, posted last year in October, captured the insights of Pam Martin from Indianapolis, Ind., the mother of three sons who each played college football: Josh (University of Indianapolis [Ind.]), Nick (University of Norte Dame) and Zach (University of Notre Dame). More than 20 stories have been written and posted to the site.

“Parents face a myriad of choices about the activities for their children,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “And we believe there is no better vehicle for teaching teamwork, discipline, and leadership than football. We wanted to create a stage for the mothers of the more than 1.1 million high school and 70,000 college players as a vehicle for them to share their thoughts on the lifelong lessons their children learn on the gridiron. This initiative has a lot of people excited, and we have a third video already in the works.”

The “I’m A Football Mom” initiative is part of a larger campaign launched by the NFF in 2013 called Football Matters, which provides people throughout the country with a voice in highlighting the positive impact that football has had on their lives by utilizing social media platforms and the hashtag: #ImAFootballPlayer. The launch included a highly successful TV spot and testimonial, which showcased Jeff Immelt, the chairman and CEO of GE and a former offensive lineman at Dartmouth College. The commercial, which has been seen by millions of people, captures Immelt’s perspective on the value of his football experiences in running one of the world’s largest and most successful industrial conglomerates. Click here to watch the Immelt video.

If you are a proud football mom and want to share your story, please email us at

About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include, the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy presented by Fidelity Investments, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, Hofmann Brands, New York Athletic Club, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, PrimeSport, the Sports Business Journal, Under Armour and VICIS. Learn more at

Created by the National Football Foundation, is the home for storytelling that promotes the power of amateur football.

corporate partners