CHARLOTTE – They used to be big men on their respective campuses. Now they're rookies in the NFL, where keeping your head above water is the first step.
That's why the Panthers have matched up their newest players with men who have already walked in their footsteps. For the fourth straight year, that connection kicked off with an alumni-rookie dinner.
"The purpose of tonight's event is to help with the transition from college to the pros," historical and alumni affairs manager David Monroe told the gathering Thursday night at Fahrenheit in Uptown Charlotte.
An underlying message from the former players was to "enjoy the ride." But they also went deeper.
"When you have an opportunity to touch a life, touch it in the right way. Everyone's watching you guys. All the kids are watching you guys," former wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad said. "So enjoy it, but don't enjoy it too much."
To watch a video recap of the event, click 'play' below: