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      Hometown Hero is Ready for Football

      Former Monroe football star and current New England Patriot Deion Branch took time off on Thursday from preparing for a pending NFL season to spend time with the community that helped build him into a Super Bowl MVP.

      The Super Bowl XXXIV MVP, Branch, visited with local children Thursday morning at the Albany YMCA, and the Albany State youth sports program.

      Branch's busy Good Life City schedule goes through Saturday in connection with his charity, the Deion Branch foundation. Branch has also stayed busy training for another NFL season- whenever that may be. The veteran wide receiver said he TMs updated everyday on the progress of the NFL lockout, and has an optimistic outlook for football in 2011.

      Everyday I know ESPN comes on and says everything TMs looking good|and then the next week it TMs looking bad. For all the true fans and people ready for football|there will be football- it TMs just all about when. But I promise you there will be football, Branch said.

      For the two-time Super Bowl winner, there will also be some basketball on Friday night sponsored by his foundation. The first annual Georgia Stars Celebrity basketball classic tips off at 7:30 at Darton College with a three point and dunk contest.

      Branch's 6th Annual Skills and Drills camp headlines the NFL veteran TMs weekend. The youth football camp begins Saturday at 9 AM at Hugh Mills stadium.