KILGORE, TEXAS (KLTV/KTRE) - An NFL player with East Texas ties is giving back to the community.
Philadelphia Eagles player Lane Johnson donated $500,000 to Kilgore College for the construction of “The Lane,” a 3,800-square foot athletic performance center.
Johnson is a former Kilgore College Ranger who also played at Groveton High School.
Johnson played both quarterback and tight end for the Rangers during the 2008 football season, playing under the direction of Coach J.J. Eckert. He later signed with the University of Oklahoma and ultimately was drafted by the Eagles as the No. 4 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
“I wanted to give back to one of the places that was pivotal for helping with my success,” Johnson said, recalling his time at Kilgore College. “I’m finally in a place where I can make these things a reality and inspire the next generation to chase their dreams.”
The facility is expected to include state-of-the-art weight and training equipment, according to a news release from Kilgore College. The equipment will be available for use by all sports programs at the college.
An exact date for the launch of construction was not given, but the college anticipates construction will begin in upcoming months and be completed in spring of 2020.
Johnson described his journey to the NFL and the Super Bowl in an interview with the college.
“It truly is an underdog story – coming from small town East Texas to a JUCO to making it in the NFL and winning a Super Bowl,” he said. "My whole purpose is to show them that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to. The only ones who are going to stop them are themselves and people who are trying to diminish their confidence. I am excited for the future of Kilgore College athletics and look forward to watching this program compete for championships.”