Jameel McClain: From rags to Ravens

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain (53) tackles Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Zach Miller in the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Baltimore, Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
A slow climb from rags to Ravens

wtopstaff | November 14, 2014 12:20 pm

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Greg Bianco, wtop.com

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – People have done it countless times before: They want to see their dreams become reality, but in the end, those dreams feel unattainable and they lose sight or give up hope.

Jameel McClain is an exceptional exception, though.

“To see where I’ve come and to see what I’ve been through to face as an individual, it’s definitely fulfilling in that aspect that nothing can break me, literally,” says McClain.

He was born and raised in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. While he is loved by his mother and three siblings, they struggled to find a place to live. They eventually found shelter in the Salvation Army for some time. As they fought for survival, he embraced the idea of tough love.

He started boxing as a kid and finished his grade-school boxing record with 6 wins in 7 tries, before football began making more sense in high school.

“Boxing turned into football because I love the aggression of the game. I always loved aggressive sports,” McClain says. “I was always smaller, but I always tried the biggest. If it were me getting hit, it would be like,

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