Deebo Samuel spends plenty of time going back to his hometown for a purpose.
The All-Pro wide receiver grew up in a tough environment in South Carolina. Football became his path to success, so he wants to inspire children who look up to him as a role model.
“I don’t go back for the older people that I grew up with,” Samuel said on the AP Pro Football Podcast. “I really go back to show the kids there’s still hope, there’s a chance. This is where I came from. So in reality, people say it’s kind of hard to make it out, which is true. But if you put your mind to anything, you’re capable of anything in life. You’re capable of anything as long as you hone in on that task and what you really want out of life, you put yourself in a position to fulfill your dream.”
Samuel played at Chapman High School in Inman, starred at the University of South Carolina and was selected in the second round of the 2019 NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers.
“Growing up where I went, where I came from, it wasn’t easy at all. But as I got to high school, I kind of I kind of told myself I have a chance of being a real professional. Then getting to college and all the injuries and things that I suffered, you kind of had a doubt. But then again, you have to look back and be like this is really what I want to do in life. This is what I wanted to become,” he said. “And my last year of college ball, like I had a full season and then I went to the Super Bowl. In reality, dreams come true.”
The 26-year-old became a father in December to son Tyshun Raequan Samuel Jr., something that Samuel said “changed my life a lot.”
“It made me have more patience than I ever had, for sure. But, you know, my son is my priority before anything,” Samuel said. “My No. 1 thing is to make sure he has a life that I didn’t have growing up and just make sure he has not another worry on this earth. So that’s why I go out there every day, practice, games, just giving my all to make sure he’s fine.”
Samuel’s fatherhood journey and life off the field is being featured in Overtime’s latest O Films series.
Samuel is expected to return from a hamstring injury this week when the 49ers (4-4) host the Los Angeles Chargers (5-3).
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