FURTHER REVIEW: Marshall Faulk proves success is always possible
Marshall Faulk grew up with the odds stacked against him.
He went to a high school where nearly half of the students dropped out before reaching their senior year.
He lived in the notorious Desire housing development in New Orleans, which was synonymous with poverty and crime.
Now, the man who is possibly Desire’s most famous former resident, will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
It has been a long journey from Desire to having his bust in Canton, Ohio.
As stated in an in-depth article in the Times-Picayune, it wasn’t until Faulk went to San Diego State that he realized how bad his home life was.
He grew up with a single mother and six older brothers. After his parents’ divorce when he was four, his mother struggled to support the family while working as a clerk and hotel maid.
Sometimes flowers grow through the cracks of cement. That’s how it was for Faulk as he used football to make a name for himself.
He was the top high school player in Louisiana, but was thought to be too small to play running back. Perennial powers like Miami, UCLA and Nebraska recruited him as a defensive back. Even LSU, just up the road in Baton Rouge, wouldn’t budge on the position preference. San Diego State was the only school that wanted him in the offensive backfield.
San Diego State? Yes, that San Diego State. Faulk was bound to be an Aztec.
He went out to the West Coast and made an immediate impact, proving naysayers wrong. In just his second college game, Faulk set an NCAA freshman rushing record with 386 yards and seven touchdowns against Pacific. He compiled the gaudy statistics in just over three quarters of work. Oh, and he was the second-string running back, pushed into duty because of an injury to the starter.
Faulk became the nation’s leading rusher twice, and was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in 1992.
Once he entered the NFL Draft, he became an instant millionaire. He went on to enjoy a long and illustrious career as a pro.
Perhaps more importantly, he could finally help his mother financially.
Faulk’s story should be an inspiration to us all, no matter where we grew up. He had every excuse to quit, but he never did.
We can all be great, just like Faulk. It’s just a matter of never giving up.