When you watch ESPN's coverage of the 2021 NFL Draft, you will hear the most depressing stories you can imagine. ESPN will dig deep into these players lives and let you know that a prospects great grandfather's friend's half brother did not like cats. Some crazy story that will have nothing to do with the actual player or their on field performance.
I am going to enlighten you on the top 5 positive stories from prospects ahead of Thursday's draft! I want these players to be remembered for being great ambassadors to their schools.
1. Joseph Ossai - Living the Kevin McCallister Dream
When Joseph Ossai was a kid, the idea of playing football was not an option, let alone being a draftee in the NFL Draft. Born in Largo Nigeria, Ossai gravitated towards soccer as a young child. Throughout his childhood in Nigeria, kids would all gather to play soccer, since it was the only sporting equipment they had. One day Ossai's mother decided to enter her name in the America Visa lottery. Over 1 year later, she got the call of a lifetime. Her family would receive visa's and move to America to pursue better opportunities. The only thing Joseph knew about America was the movie Home Alone. He knew pizza and tall buildings. The adjustments were tough, especially the change in food in America from Nigeria. However, Ossai found football in 7th grade and the rest his history.
2. Kwity Paye - "I promise you won't pay for college mom"
Kwity Paye's mother was born and raised in Liberia, West Africa. While she was young, a civil war broke out and her father was killed when she was only 12. When she was older, she moved to Kwity and his brother Komoaty to Providence Rhode Island to guarantee safety for her boys and a better life. Life was not easy for the Paye family since they came with just the clothes on their back. Kwity turned to football and was a natural star. When he realized he could make something out of his football career, he knew he needed to attend a better high school. He begged his mom to let him attend Bishop Hendricken High School. The school offered to help pay some tuition, but the Paye family would be responsible for the rest. He promised his mom if she let him attend she would not have to pay for college. He worked hard and kept his promise and got a full-ride scholarship to the University of Michigan.
3. Justin Fields - #WeWantToPlay
The Big Ten was the last Power 5 conference to announce their intentions to play in 2020. Originally the Big Ten said their season would not happen in Fall 2020, but would attempt to play in the Spring of 2021. However, projected first-round QB Justin Fields wanted to play. Fields create the #WeWantToPlay movement with hopes of changing the Big Ten' and other Power 5's decision about not having a season. In less than 24 hours, his petition had over 230,000 signatures. In the end the Big Ten changed their mind and decided to play in 2020. Fields than led Ohio State to a Big Ten Championship, Sugar Bowl victory, and a berth in the College Football Championship game. He did not complete the fairy tell ending, but because of his effort the Big Ten played football in 2020.
4. Najee Harris - Weidman Strong
The biggest Alabama Football fan is 8-year old Braxton Weidman. Before the 2020 season kicked off, Braxton and his family received devastating news. They all learned that Braxton had a brain tumor. After news got back to Alabama, Head Coach Nick Saban sent Braxton a teddy bear and a signed photo. The week of the Ole Miss game, Coach Saban gave Braxton a call to see how he was doing and to let him know the entire team was behind him. During the call, Braxton was very nervous and had 1 simple question. "Are you going to run Najee?" Saban was happy to answer and said he would use him more just because Braxton asked. The phone call got back to Najee and a spark was lit. Najee ended up going for 5 TD's in a victory over Ole Miss. This is a story that makes you appreciate life.
5. Trevor Lawrence - Using his Voice and Platform for Change
The projected top pick in the 2021 used his platform for something that is bigger than sports. The biggest story of 2020 was COVID-19. A close 2nd was the Black Lives Matter campaign across America. Trevor Lawrence used his platform and used his voice to help bring change to this country. He understands that his voice will be heard and he stood up for what he believed in, and what he believed in was change. Lawrence believes that everyone in America has the right to live freely and be happy, and right now people have a hard time doing that. We have seen a lot of different athletes use their platform for the better good of this country. Lawrence used his voice to help bring change to this country. The only way change can happen in this country, is if people like Trevor Lawrence with large platforms and voices help spark change. Hats off to Lawrence for standing up for what he believes in.
There you have it. The top 5 positive stories from NFL prospects in the 2021 Draft! Remember when you watch ESPN's coverage of the 2021 NFL Draft and they talk about the most negative story they can find, just read this article to put a smile on your face.