CONYERS -- No stranger to giving back to the community where it all started, Atlanta Falcons star defensive tackle and former Rockdale County standout Grady Jarrett was back in his hometown of Conyers Tuesday afternoon for a special collaboration with Academy Sports and Outdoors and the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office. 

Partnered with Jarrett, Academy Sports and Outdoors and the Sheriff's office helped surprise 100 local youth at the JP Carr Community Center in Conyers with bicycles and helmets as part of their 18th annual holiday bike donation program.

“I think it’s going to bring a lot of joy,” Jarrett said. “They get a bike that they can have for years to come and to know that they got it from Grady Jarrett means a lot to me. I think it’s something that they will be able to remember for a lifetime.”

Children filed in to receive their bikes from Jarrett, who signed each bike and took the time to take a picture. The children were also able to interact with Freddie Falcon, the team’s mascot, two Falcons cheerleaders and the several members of the Sheriff's office on hand, including Sheriff Eric Levett. 

Two lucky recipients of the bike giveaway included the grandchildren of longtime Rockdale County coach Mike Etheridge who helped coach Jarrett during his wrestling days in high school.

“I’m happy for the families that they will have something nice for the holiday season,” Jarrett said. “It’s just a little early Christmas present from me, Academy Sports and the Rockdale police department. A lot of people care about them and we’re all glad that we were able to come together and make a really good event for them.”

The day also featured a $5,000 check being presented to the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office as a donation in support of its new Sheriff’s Athletic League Program.

Jarrett said it was great to be back in his hometown of Conyers in the midst of a busy NFL season.

“Being here around my roots is very important to me and I take pride in it,” Jarrett said. “Anytime I have an opportunity to give back in whatever form or fashion it may be means a lot. I’m glad God put me in this position to do what I do.”

Sports Editor

A 2017 graduate of the University of North Georgia, Colin joined the Rockdale/Newton Citizen in March of 2018 as the papers' full-time sports editor. A 2013 graduate of Jackson County High School, Colin received a golf scholarship to Andrew College.