PARIS — A pair of professional football players told more than 1,000 students and staff members at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School on Monday that success doesn’t depend on where they live, how much money they have or who they know.

What matters is having goals and sticking with them. 

“Don’t sacrifice what you want most for what you want now,” Michael DeVito, 29, a defensive end for the Kansas City Chiefs, said.

DeVito and Matthew Mulligan, 29, who played tight end this season for the New England Patriots, were brought to the school by Principal Ted Moccia in a highly secretive Monday afternoon assembly to speak about motivation.

“It’s all about what you’re going to do at the end of the day,” Mulligan said.

The football players, who are competitors on the field but best friends off the field, bantered with the students about goals, motivation, family, faith and a range of other topics.

On time management, Mulligan said the snooze button has never been an option.

“It never will be,” said Mulligan, a native of Enfield who first played football at the University of Maine. “Rest is important but I’ll rest when I’m dead.”

“Focus. Have short-term and long-term goals,” DeVito said. He listed his priorities, in order, as being a Christian first, then a husband, a father and a football player.

“Set goals each day. You have to have a vision of what you want,” he said.

The National Football League players, who played together with the New York Jets, took a dozen or more questions from students. They ranged from their spiritual life to what they will do after they retire. They also asked about New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Mulligan said of Brady, “What you see is what you get.” He called him by his first name without an introduction their first day of practice together, he said. Brady is all about what’s best for the team, Mulligan said.

On his spiritual life, DeVito said it is his guide. He keeps a Bible in his locker.

On their plans for retirement, DeVito said he wants to finish college and get a master’s degree in divinity.

Mulligan said he hopes to work in some way that will better the community.

Moccia said he ran into Mulligan’s wife, Stephanie McCoy Mulligan, a 2004 OHCHS graduate, at a Patriots game and learned about Mulligan and DeVito’s motivational talks to students. Stephanie Mulligan and her parents, Pat and Bill McCoy of Otisfield, were also at Monday’s assembly.

Stephanie Mulligan, who met her husband at a charity event in Boston in 2010, said she and her husband have a little girl who is about to have her first birthday. They live in Lincoln during the off season.

She said Moccia was vice principal when she was in school and knew everyone. “Even if he didn’t remember your name, he made you feel like he knew who you were,” she said.

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