MEMPHIS, Tenn. — “It was one point where I was like dead broke in shelters. Walking around with no shoes on,” Texas A&M commit Chris Morris shared.
To whom much is given. Much is required.
Chris Morris who’s committed to play football at Texas A&M next year said he hadn’t always liked the game of football but later grew to love the game because of opportunity.
“It matured me more than anything and made me the person I am today. Basically I have respect now because of football,” said Morris.
Make no mistake, the road to success wasn’t always easy for Morris.
“Some days you didn’t eat. Some days you had to go take something to eat,” shared Morris.
The West Memphis star was used to living a difficult life where poverty seemed normal before meeting Melvin Cole.
He said because of Melvin, he learned how to be a better man.
“Discipline … how to be a young man .. how to take care of yourself .. how to live out in the world without somebody holding your back,” Morris said.
Melvin Cole, a former player at Bowling Green, says his vision for a home-schooled program was inspired from the life he had to endure.
“I actually made a pact with God when I was in prison. That if he got me out of the situation I was in I was going to come back and commit my life to saving young men that look like me,” said Cole.
Melvin felt it was important for him to help Morris because his at-risk environment reminded him of his past.
“To be able to fight generational poverty, we have to first create general college graduates,” Cole shared.
After seeing low literacy rates in his athletes. Cole knew that education would have to be the backbone of his program.
"Me being a perfect example, I thought football was the easiest way to get a college education for free,” Cole said.
Borderline on the verge of being homeless and living with people he did not know, Morris said he grew from his pain.
“The more bad situations you have to overcome. The more stronger you get with each situation,” said Morris.
Morris hopes his journey will inspire others not to give up despite the situation they may be facing.
“If I can do it they can. And I know everyone says that but If I can make it they can make it. The biggest thing for me was not having a dad. And coach would tell me that’s just talk. And he taught me not to allow it to create a vicious cycle.”
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