NFL star Jefferson, a native of St. Rose, donates fitness equipment to the park


Justin Jefferson at Parquet Park on Monday morning

Pro Football Hall of Famer Ed Reed started Parquet Park in his hometown of St. Rose not too long ago – and another pro football star and St. Rose native just put level the site.

On Monday morning, Justin Jefferson, alumnus of Destrehan High and Minnesota Vikings wide receiver, returned home and dedicated brand new fitness equipment for the park and the St. Rose community enjoying its amenities. The equipment donation was secured through KOMPAN Sport and Fitness, as well as Jefferson’s partnership with Optimum Nutrition.

Through this partnership, Jefferson and Optimum seek to improve access to fitness in underserved communities. The donation is intended to help establish a permanent public fitness resource for his home community.

Equipment includes a variety of cardio and strength training equipment, such as suspension trainers, magnetic balls, exercise bikes, ellipticals, pull-up stations and more.

Parquet Park officially opened its doors last July. It was Reed’s vision to establish a community youth playground aimed at providing children with access to safe facilities, positive programs and mentors, while serving as a symbol of hope and healthy choices. The playground is near the streets of Turtle Creek and Preston Hollow where Reed spent his childhood, at 190 Short Street. It was named in honor of Benjamin Parquet, who mentored Reed as well as many other young people in the community over the years.

Jefferson has made a habit of locally promoting healthy habits. Last summer, Jefferson returned to St. Rose and hosted a workout event for local kids with Optimum Nutrition.

“We talk about nutrition and how it contributes to a better life. I try to give back to our community and support fitness,” Jefferson said before this workout.

It wasn’t too long ago that Jefferson was a relatively unsung college football prospect after a solid career at Destrehan — but now he’s one of the NFL’s most recognizable athletes.

After arriving at LSU without much fanfare compared to other prospects, Jefferson quickly established himself as one of the Tigers’ best wide receivers. As a junior in 2019, he posted arguably the best statistical receiving season in school history, posting 18 touchdowns and 1,540 yards on 111 receptions — including 14 catches, 227 yards, four touchdown days in half -national final against Oklahoma. It all helped lead LSU to immortality via an undefeated season and a national championship.

At the end of his first season with the Vikings, Jefferson set the NFL record for most receiving yards by a rookie in NFL history, his 1,400 yards eclipsing the mark set there ago. nearly 20 by Anquan Boldin of Arizona in 2003. He caught 88 passes. and scored seven times.

Although that rookie record was broken a season later by former college teammate, Ja’Marr Chase of the Cincinatti Bengals, Jefferson reportedly didn’t experience a second slump, improving across the board. He caught 108 passes for 1,616 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2021.

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