The Commercial Appeal, Sports, July 13, 2016
Long before he was drafted by the Denver Broncos, Paxton Lynch was already thinking about how to give back. He thought about his church and old high-school football program in Deltona, Florida. He thought about doing charitable work in his new home in Colorado.
And of course, he thought about Memphis.
“It was home for me for four years,” Lynch said. “I’m proud to be a part of Memphis, and proud to say that I lived here and played football here and was a part of this program and this team. I just want people to know that I’ll never forget about Memphis.”
To that end, the former University of Memphis quarterback will host “An Evening with Paxton Lynch” at D1 Sports in Collierville on Wednesday night. As part of the event, which runs from 6 to 8 p.m., fans will have an opportunity to take pictures with Lynch or get an autograph. Tickets are $50, and all of the proceeds will benefit Memphis Athletic Ministries, a local nonprofit that works with children in under-resourced neighborhoods.
“They help those kids build a relationship with Christ as well as developing them in athletics,” said Lynch, who signed a four-year rookie contract worth approximately $9.5 million last month. “So that was something that stood out to me.”
Much has changed for Lynch in the past three months. Since being selected 26th overall by the Broncos in April, he has become a recognizable figure nearly everywhere he goes, both in his hometown of Deltona and in his new home, Denver. He has spent most of the summer at home and continued working out at D1 Sports in Lake Mary, Florida, where he prepared for the NFL combine. He also recently rented a three-bedroom townhouse in Denver.
All the while, Lynch has continued to spend time learning the playbook and adjusting to an NFL offense.
“I obviously knew it was going to be tough, but you never realize how tough it’s going to be until you start doing it,” Lynch said. “It’s definitely challenging, but I don’t see it as anything that is too big a task to handle. I definitely think it’s something that will take some time, and I think that’s how it is with everybody. But I’m taking it day by day and I’m working at it.”
Off the field, Lynch is also still adjusting to his newfound fame. He said he knows that all of his actions — from stopping to take a picture with a young fan at the Denver Zoo, to hosting an event for charity — now have a greater impact.
“I just really want to help out any way I can,” Lynch said. “I think it’s important when you get the opportunity to do that, that you jump on that opportunity as soon as you can.”
‘An Evening with Paxton Lynch’
When: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday
Where: D1 Memphis, 85 Market Center Drive, Collierville
Tickets: $50, with all proceeds to benefit Memphis Athletic Ministries. To purchase, go to tigerpromotions.net/paxton.