DEEBO Samuel would’ve never made it through college had his stepmom not saved his life.
The San Francisco 49ers star is one of the most talented receivers in the league and about to play in his second Super Bowl.Deebo Samuel credits his stepmom for saving his life[/caption] Samuel moved in with his stepmom and dad when he was a teenager[/caption]
He credits his stepmother Precious for helping him out of the gang culture in Spartanburg, South Carolina, which took a hold of his mother and older brother’s life.
Samuel recalled in an interview with GQ, “When my life was on the line, it was Precious who saved me.
“When I had nowhere to go, it was Precious who got me out of that dark place.
“She took me under her wing even though I wasn’t her child.
“She pointed me in the right direction of life to get me where I am today and refused to let me go back to what I grew up under.
“Without her, I wouldn’t have made it to college. My grades weren’t the best, but she clamped down on me and forced me over the finish line. I really think she saved my life.”
Deebo’s older brother Tyquan was his idol – but he was in and out of jail during his teenage years.
He was so heartbroken to hear his brother had been locked up that he couldn’t bring himself to answer his prison calls.
The wide receiver also saw his friend shot dead when he was just 11 years old while his mum Felicia “wasn’t able to provide for us the same way anymore” after getting involved with gangs.
He went to live with his grandmother, until she got sick and he had to find somewhere else to live.
Samuel moved to his dad and stepmom’s house up the road in Inman, South Carolina.
He said, “As a kid, you aren’t really thinking about the nuances of stepmom vs. mom.
“You just want to play ball. You just want to be a kid. But even though Precious had kids of her own, she made time for me and my older brother, Tyquan.
“She became the first person I call no matter what. And I began thinking of her as my mom.
“Precious changed from my tutor to my life coach. She wouldn’t allow me to give up on everything I was fighting for.
“Tyquan was like my role model. He taught me the ins and outs of the streets, school, sports, everything.
“I still remember how he’d always yell at me wherever we were: ‘I’m gonna turn you into an animal! I’m gonna turn you into a player nobody can stop!”
“We went out to the front yard of my grandmother’s house one day. I’ll never forget it. I put my pads on, I wasn’t worried about nothing.
“Until he put his pads on, and he was knocking my head off. I’m talking about I was crying, screaming. My grandmother was upset.”
Samuel has risen through the NFL ranks to become one of the most feared receivers in the league and earned $42 million to date.
His first thought was to look after his biological mom and brother, and buy them both a house away from their tough neighbourhood.
Samuel added, “I didn’t really know what to do when I was younger, but I knew I wanted to change my circumstances.
“Times were rough, but I kept saying to myself, when I make it to the NFL, I’m gonna get my biological mom some help.
“When I got to that life, I sent Felicia to a rehab facility to get her mind straight.
“When she completed her stint there, I bought her a house. I got her up on her feet and now she’s back, she’s working at a regular restaurant, she’s good.”
“And let me make something clear – that’s my mum. I could never resent her for the way our lives turned out. She’s special to me. Just like Precious is.”Samuel is one of the league’s best receivers and ready for his second Super Bowl[/caption]