Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks’ DK Metcalf Hype Train jumps onto new track: philanthropy for Seattle’s schools

The runaway DK Metcalf Hype Train just jumped onto a new track.


The Seahawks’ rookie wide receiver who has quarterback Russell Wilson and the entire Pacific Northwest salivating over what he may do on the field for them was scoring big points off it Wednesday morning. Metcalf spent part of his team off day from preseason practice at Southcenter Mall in Tukwila, surprising 25 teachers from Seattle Public Schools with gifts to buy back-to-school essentials for their classrooms.

Metcalf was at the mall’s JCPenney store giving teachers from Aki Kurose Middle School, Mercer International Middle School, Denny International Middle School, Washington Middle School and Meany Middle School each $200 gift cards.

Aki Kurose, for instance, is the most racially diverse public school in Seattle; 97 percent of its students are culturally and/or linguistically diverse.

Metcalf then shopped with some of the teachers.

The second-round draft choice was also on hand for the presentation to Seattle Public Schools administrators a $1,000 donation. The district intends to use it to provide socks and underwear to needy schoolchildren.

A press release from VPC Partners, which helped coordinate the event, said a study in 2017 by JCPenney, “America’s Youth: The Need for Basic Necessities,” found one-third of parents in the United States worry about their child having enough socks and underwear for the entire school year. That study found 55 percent of children who did not have newer, clean socks and underwear skipped school or wanted to because “they felt insecure and embarrassed.”

What else is the heralded rookie going to do before he plays his first NFL regular-season game?

Metcalf, 22, was born in Oxford, Miss., and played football for the University of Mississippi until a neck injury ended his final season at Ole Miss last October. He became a national phenomenon this winter for his pre-draft workouts, online videos of his Adonis-like physique and alleged 1.9-percent body fat at 6 feet 4 and 229 pounds.

Then the Seahawks traded up to draft him in the second round, in late April.

He’s been making “special” catches and plays almost every practice day since, to use the word coach Pete Carroll and Wilson have for Metcalf.

Wilson has even likened Metcalf to LeBron James—for his competitive trash-talking during workouts, at least.

Metcalf was asked early in training camp if it’s difficult to ignore all the attention he’s already getting as a Seahawk.

“Sometimes it is,” he said.

“I was a nobody at one point in my life, so I just have to keep the same mentality.”

The gift cards he presented and Wednesday’s event are part of JCPenney’s national campaign to benefit the YMCA Associations, one of the retail chain’s charity partners.

Metcalf will return to practice Thursday morning when the Seahawks return to the field at team headquarters in Renton. Seattle’s second preseason game is Sunday night at Minnesota.

Gregg Bell is the Seahawks and NFL writer for The News Tribune. In January 2019 he was named the Washington state sportswriter of the year by the National Sports Media Association. He started covering the NFL in 2002 as the Oakland Raiders beat writer for The Sacramento Bee. The Ohio native began covering the Seahawks in their first Super Bowl season of 2005. In a prior life he graduated from West Point and served as a tactical intelligence officer in the U.S. Army, so he may ask you to drop and give him 10.