Although Todd Gurley is trying to become the new face of the city, the Los Angeles Rams running back is just a humble man from even humbler beginnings. While Gurley was prepping for his showdown with the Carolina Panthers, the people back in his hometown of Tarboro, North Carolina and their neighboring communities were dealing with Hurricane Matthew.
While most players usually use the bye week to relax and recover, the All-Pro back decided to pay his hometown a visit and help serve meals at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. According to Jordan Rodrigue of Charlotte Observer, Gurley got a chance to visit the town and reflect on the damage that had been done:
“It was bad. It was like a ghost town,” Gurley said. “You just see everybody’s stuff on the side of the roads, furniture and all types of stuff. I definitely want to keep everybody in my prayers and know they’ll get through it. Most people have been staying in a hotel the last three weeks to a month.”
Although the people in the community are still doing what they can to recover, seeing one of their native sons return home to help out was a huge gesture:
“To see (Gurley) reach out and know how long it was going to take for folks in this community to get back on their feet, it was something we really appreciated,” said Jessica Whichard, a spokeswomen for the food bank. “To take the time to come to Tarboro, it was really important.”
Gurley is a bit of a folk hero to the people of Tarboro after leading his high school to three consecutive state titles. As a result, players like him hardly go unnoticed, especially in a town of just 12,000 people.
While the Rams have struggled mightily on offense this year, Gurley has yet to lash out or blame anyone. His maturity in dealing with the tough times proves to be a testament of the things he learned growing up in a small town in North Carolina.