Travelle Wharton is no longer a member of the Carolina Panthers.
The former Hillcrest High School and University of South Carolina standout offensive lineman is now a member of the Cincinnati Bengals.
That doesn’t mean he has pulled up his roots. In fact, he stepped things up this year, moving his Travelle Wharton Youth Football camp to his former high school in an attempt to attract more children.
The camp, open to children ages 8 to 17, drew more than 500 youths to Hillcrest on June 9.
Wharton and other football players coached the children on the techniques needed to compete at a higher level and provided each camper a free T-shirt and lunch, staples of each camp.
The camp had a similar format as Wharton’s other camps. Youths were put through football drills and exercises conducted by professional players and area coaches.
In addition, the campers were given life lessons from the coaches and players.
Wharton’s commitment to the community did not end there.
He also gave a donation to the Fountain Inn Recreation Department, where he spent time as a youth, to aid with buying new football helmets.
“With the heightened awareness of concussions, youth leagues have had to buy new helmets,” said Anthony Harris, Wharton’s agent. “Travelle wanted to make a donation to help the department with that.”
After an All-Southeastern Conference career at USC, Wharton was a third-round draft pick by the Carolina Panthers in 2004. He was a starter virtually from day one, playing both offensive guard and tackle.
He signed a free agent contract with the Bengals following the 2011 NFL season.