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Jimmy Wigfield / The Outlook Auburn linebacker K.J. Britt talks to Rylan Jackson and lets him wear his hat during the Bridge Builders youth football camp Saturday at the Charles E. Bailey Sportplex.

Auburn linebacker K.J. Britt couldn’t help but put himself in the much smaller shoes of the first- through eighth-graders who were learning the basics of football at Saturday’s annual Bridge Builders camp at the Charles E. Bailey Sportplex.

He had been in the same place when he was their age and was happy to make a difference, if only to give encouragement to those who were unsure of themselves.

“I remember when I was their age, I just watched the older guys, the guys who had already made it, and wishing I was in their shoes,” Britt said. “When I see the smiles on these kids’ faces, it wasn’t that long ago that it was me. I imagined myself at that age and now the younger ones are looking up to me. I make sure I am setting an example and being the best light I can be.”

Britt was joined at the camp by two other Auburn teammates, linebacker T.D. Moultry and defensive tackle Tyrone Truesdale, and said he saw raw talent which should be developed.

“There is more than a handful of them (with skills),” Britt said. “I will be keeping up with them. I was asking their names. These kids can all be something special. You can tell athleticism when you see it.”

Coaches Tommie Kelly and Hudson Hinton led the young men through drills, taught them the basics of stances, positions and play calling and spoke about the importance of sportsmanship.

Kelly said the first group who went through the Bridge Builders camp just graduated in the Class of 2019 at Benjamin Russell.

Britt told the campers why he was there and why they should continue to come.

“We’ve worked to build this bridge for you all to come after us, to give back,” he said. “Hopefully you are here one day doing the same thing.”