Another one of my favorite 2009 NFL Draft picks is the newest Baltimore Raven, Michael Oher. Like Curry, I found his story to be a compelling heart tugger that made me immediately fall in love with the 6’4 309 lb. offensive tackle.
Although he was picked in the first round; he was the 23rd overall pick. Apparently some thought he was going to go earlier in the draft and according to the commentators, some players would have had an attitude if they were called 23rd, but expected to go earlier. This was not the case with Oher. When interviewed immediately after his name was called, he said that he could’ve gone in the 7th round and it would not have mattered because either way he was happy to be playing football.
“I’m ready to give Baltimore my very best,” said Oher. “I’m a fighter so they just got the best tackle in the draft.”
His humility and positive attitude is literally unbelievable, especially given his circumstances.
Born May 28, 1986 to a drug-addicted mother and a father he never knew prior to him being murdered, Oher attended 11 different schools before he was nine years old, failed the first and secon grade, and alternated between times spent in foster home and periods with no fixed address until he was sixteen years old.
That year Oher applied for admission to Briarcrest Christian School, a private school, at the instigation of acquaintance, Tony Henderson, who he was staying with temporarily. Henderson was actually sending his son, and decided that Oher might as well come along. The school’s football coach became interested in Oher, but school administrators did not feel that he was capable of handling their academic workload due to his scant educational background; however, he was admitted.
While there he met Leigh Anne and Sean Tuhoy through their daughter, who was also a student at Briarcrest. The Tuhoy’s allowed Oher to move in with them and began taking care of him. They hired a tutor who worked with him 20 hours a week to help bring up his grade point average and encouraged him to take a series of internet based courses from Brigham Young University to serve as replacements for poor marks earned earlier in his academic career, enabling him to be eligible to play college football.
Eventually, the Tuhoy’s adopted Oher, becoming the only stable, loving family he’s ever known. Apparently, the Tuhoy’s did a fantastic job helping this young man turn his life around. Thank God for people like the Tuhoy’s. If more people viewed young men like Oher as an opportunity to help turn someone’s life around instead of a burden to society, we might see many more of these happy endings. What an exceptional blended family story!! This family certainly wasn’t organically made, but after seeing them on stage at the draft, you’d think they’d been together all along. This is more proof that blood is definitely not an essential requirement for being a family.