Rick Osentoski, USA TODAY

Wilton Speight connects with refugees in 'amazing opportunity' on first day of Italy trip

Meeting with refugees from war-torn countries puts life into perspective for Michigan quarterback Wilton Speight.

The Michigan football program's trip to Rome is underway and the first day has already been more than advertised for some players on the team.

Wolverines quarterback Wilton Speight and his teammates were able to kick their trip off with some early-morning sight seeing and a picnic at the Borghese Gardens, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all involved.

On top of that, Speight also had an opportunity to meet with refugees from war-torn countries across the globe.

"We were here in Borghese Gardens all afternoon," Speight said. "When we got in, the guys were hungry so we got a picnic here on the lawn. We did a little sightseeing, walked around, saw some museums and monuments. Had an amazing opportunity for the past two or three hours to meet with some refugees from all over the world that are here in Italy at a camp. That was a tremendous opportunity to jump into a melting pot of people and bounce each others backgrounds off each other."

The opportunity to meet with refugees was particularly impactful for Speight, who met one refugee in particular that put life into perspective for Speight. As someone, and the rest of his teammates, who were wearing brand new Jordan gear for the Italy trip, others aren't as fortunate to have that opportunity and only have the clothes on their backs to survive.

"It put a lot into perspective," Speight said. "I got close with a guy named Muhammad from Gambia who had to leave his family, his parents. He and his siblings came to Italy. Gambia just wasn't a very safe place for them to be at this time. He said he came to Italy with the shirt on his back, a pair of shorts and some shoes that were two sizes two small. That really, right off the bat, put things into perspective. Myself and my teammates are wearing new Jordan gear for this trip, really just makes us realize how fortunate we are and we shouldn't take it for granted.

"To be able to meet guys like Muhammad from Gambia and guys from Iran, Afghanistan and really all over the world. It's cool that we were in Ann Arbor 24 hours ago to being in a park in Rome talking to people from all around the world."

You can watch Speight's interview in its entirety below:


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