DRESSING FOR success was the message for the young Y Achievers at the Columbia North YMCA located on Broad Street.
And the two surprise guests who spoke during Tuesday's presentation were well-suited for the task.
The 20 teens heard from Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and quarterback Deshaun Watson, a top NFL draft prospect who led Clemson to last season's national title.
Each player spoke of how dressing well boosts confidence and makes a good impression on others. They even fielded some tough questions from the youngsters.
"It was cool walking in, seeing their reaction when Deshaun and I walked in there," said Wentz. "Then being able to share some things about fashion and looking professional and looking the part. That's what's so cool about being in this position Deshaun and I are in, being able to use our platform and help be role models for them."
"I was in those seats asking those questions," said Watson. "I always dreamed of being in a position of the opposite side, and now I am."
Wentz practices what he preaches. He said he prepares a bunch of different suits before the season even begins. He said he starts planning his game-day wardrobe on Friday night.
"I like to look very professional and look the part," Wentz said. "I'm not overly flashy, but at the same time, I like to be bold and be confident in what I wear."
When Wentz and Watson finished speaking the teens got another surprise: Each was fitted for a custom suit, courtesy of JCPenney.
Wentz was genuinely excited for the teens.
"I'm more than just a football player. I'm more than what you see underneath a facemask and that's what it's all about," Wentz said.
After the youngsters were measured for their suits, Wentz and Watson hung around, took pictures, and signed autographs. They even tossed the pigskin around for a bit.
Wentz will be tossing the pigskin around to a couple new faces this season. On the first day of free agency, Howie Roseman struck immediately, signing veteran receiver Torrey Smith, and Alshon Jeffery, widely regarded as the best receiver on the free-agent market. Those signings give Wentz a field-stretcher in Smith and a dynamic red-zone target in Jeffery. Zach Ertz and Jordan Matthews are expected to reap the benefits of the added weaponry.
The Eagles have made it clear that surrounding Wentz with a plethora of talent was a top priority. It's also clear that Wentz and management are on the same page.
"They respect my opinion on things," Wentz said. "They want to build this thing in the right direction. It's also cool when they say they're going to do something and they go do it. It shows a lot of trust that I can trust the organization. I truly believe we're headed somewhere special."