An A-list actor and two Pro Bowl football players huddled at the San Francisco 49ers Academy in East Palo Alto Tuesday to emphasize the importance of daily exercise, nutrition and healthy activity for kids.
"We Are Marshall" actor Matthew McConaughey teamed with a handful of San Francisco 49ers players -- including Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis and Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis -- to lead the 49ers Academy students in a plethora of football drills beneath the sweltering September sun.
"I don't think we'll have a problem breaking a sweat in this heat," McConaughey said.
The event was a collaboration between McConaughey's j.k. livin foundation ("Just Keep Livin"), the 49ers RESPECT campaign and the NFL PLAY 60 campaign. Academy students were all smiling as McConaughey, alongside his girlfriend, Camila Alves, spoke about the importance of healthy habits and frequent exercise. McConaughey also expressed appreciation for the 49ers players on hand and the impression they have on today's youth.
"These athletes are role models for the students and will create such positive examples for them," McConaughey said.
Other 49ers players in attendance were cornerback Tarell Brown, wide receiver Josh Morgan, safety Reggie Smith, safety Curtis Taylor and offensive guard Tony Wragge. All led groups of students on an array of football drills that included passing, footwork and tackling.
Willis, McConaughey and Davis grouped together near the tackling station. At one point Davis walked past the line of students, whispering to each as he passed. The students then broke into a chorus of "MATTHEW! MATTHEW!" urging the Texas native to demonstrate his tackling technique. McConaughey smiled, turned his baseball cap backward and lunged at the tackling dummy.
Davis, a spokesperson for the NFL's PLAY 60 campaign, spoke enthusiastically about working alongside McConaughey and the j.k. livin foundation to help highlight the value of healthy living.
"I'm excited to work with Matthew (McConaughey) and his foundation to help youth in the Bay Area understand the importance of exercising and making smart nutritional choices every day," Davis said.