Originally written on Bonfire Impact  |  Last updated 10/3/13
Written by Danielle Hester “Anyone can put you on the right path but they can’t make you walk it, you have to make that first step and decide if you’re on the road to success or failure” We can’t help the situations we are born into…but we can choose the path we opt to take in life. Unfortunately, it seems more common that those born into “less than fortunate” situations find it easier to follow the path of drugs and violence that they were born into. And for some, they realize life has more to offer and build a life few could have imagined. Michael Jerome Oher, born Michael Jerome Williams Jr., was born May 28, 1986 in Memphis, Tennessee.  His mother was an alcoholic and crack cocaine addict while his father spent time in and out of prison. Born one of twelve children, Oher rarely got the attention and discipline needed throughout his childhood. He was shuffled in and out of foster homes and was often homeless. He also performed poorly in academics, repeating first grade and second grade and attending 11 different schools during his first nine years as a student. Just as all seemed hopeless, something remarkable happened. He was taken in by a prominent family in the Memphis community when he was 16, The Tuohy’s. Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy took notice to Oher’s kind heart and future potential. They began to hire tutor’s to assist with academics and helped Oher find refuge in something that brought him happiness and helped him to escape the demons from his past – football. His due-diligence began to pay off in his junior year, as Oher began to excel in football. By the beginning of his senior year, Oher was the starting left tackle on the varsity football team. He quickly became a top football prospect in the state of Tennessee, which led to multiple scholarship offers from Division 1 schools. Some of the biggest schools in the SEC began knocking at his door. He received offers from Tennessee, LSU, Alabama and NC State, among others. Oher ultimately decided to play for the Tuohy’s beloved Alma Mater, The University of Mississippi. As a freshman offensive lineman, Michael Oher played 11 games for Ole Miss, starting 10 of them at the right guard position. Oher was selected first team Freshman All-America by The Sporting News and first team Freshman All-SEC for his play in 2005.  In his sophomore season in 2006, Michael Oher became a breakout star in the highly-competitive SEC after moving to the position of left tackle. Oher earned second team All-SEC for his performance and that same year, the author Michael Lewis released a book titled The Blind Side, which detailed Michael Oher’s life from foster child turned college football star. The book inspired the 2009 movie that ultimately made Michael Oher a household name, The Blind Side. The movie starring Sandra Bullock was a blockbuster hit and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Motion Picture of the Year. After completing four years at Ole Miss, Oher entered the 2009 NFL Draft. He was selected 23rd overall by the Baltimore Ravens, starting all 16 games for the Ravens and helped the team reach the playoffs in his first season.During the 2012-13 season, Oher and the Ravens headed to the biggest game of the year, Super Bowl XLVII. Held in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Baltimore Ravens took on the San Francisco 49ers. Oher and his teammates emerged victorious, taking the championship in a tight game with a final score of 34-31. Oher’s Cinderella story didn’t come without its fair share of hardship and hard work, but he is living proof that you can do anything you set your mind to. As a highly skilled player beloved by his teammates and coaches, I doubt we will see this offensive powerhouse slow down anytime soon.   For more information, visit http://proplayerinsiders.com/
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