Todd Gurley II starts 100-day reading initiative

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The community work isn't over for Atlanta Falcons running back Todd Gurley II just because football has returned.

Gurley has partened with former University of Georgia teammate Malcolm Mitchell, Arndrea King, Martin Luther King III and Yolanda King to launch the 100 Days of Reading iniative. 

"I was one of those kids growing up where I was afraid to read in class in front of everyone, but the only way to overcome your fear is to do it in front of a lot of people," Gurley said in a promo video for the program.

Gurley collaborated with King III earlier this summer for an Instagram panel focusing on how Black celebrities and influences can help lead the way in improving the conditions of the Black community.

Mitchell's NFL career ended after only playing one season due to knee issues. The Valdosta native won a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots in that lone season. In retirement, he's written children's books including "The Magician's Hat," a published work released in 2015 before his retirement. In "The Magician's Hat," Mitchell highlighted the importance of reading. 

"Just like the characters in the this book, I believe there's a book out there that can help, encourage and allow you to accomplish all the goals that you set for yourself," Mitchell said in the promo. "I believe there's a book that'll help your dreams come true."

On the field, Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter expects Gurley to get between 15 to 25 touches per game this season.

Atlanta opens its season on Sept. 13 in an empty Mercedes-Benz Stadium against the Seattle Seahawks.

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