Jimmy Graham and the 5 Biggest Rags-to-Riches Stories in the NFL

Bill Robbins@bill_kc28Correspondent IDecember 5, 2011

Jimmy Graham and the 5 Biggest Rags-to-Riches Stories in the NFL

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    In professional sports, there are many players that have come from troubled backgrounds, only to see themselves become star athletes in their respective sport.

    In the NFL, we have found this to be no different over the years.

    Here are the five biggest rags-to-riches athlete stories in the NFL today.


Darnell Dockett

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    Dockett had a very tragic childhood.

    First, his mom was murdered, and then his dad died of cancer a few months later.

    However, he didn't let that stop his drive for the game of football.

    The long-time Cardinals defensive end has gone to three Pro Bowls and is one of the staples of their defense today.

Dwayne Bowe

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    It's a miracle that Dwayne Bowe is even in the NFL in the first place.

    When he was young, his mother left him, leaving it up to his grandmother to care of him during his childhood years.

    After struggling academically in high school, his HS football coach took a chance on him and told him to try out for the team.

    As the story goes, Dwayne made the team, dominated for two seasons, then starred at LSU before he would eventually become one of the best wideouts in the league today.

Michael Oher

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    The story of Michael Oher is easily the most well-known of any on this list.

    He was practically homeless, until a woman named Leigh Anne Tuohy came along and literally saved his life.

    She convinced her family to bring him in to their home, and he would eventually become a star football player in the state of Mississippi from there.

    Today, he is the starting right tackle for the Baltimore Ravens.

    If you've never seen the movie "The Blindside", you should go check it out sometime.

Tamba Hali

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    Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali took a very unusual path to the NFL.

    In his home country of Liberia, he was often in danger of losing his life because of the Civil War that existed within that country.

    After awhile, Tamba Hali was able to make his way to the United States and become a very dominant LB under coach Joe Paterno at Penn State.

    From there, he was drafted by Kansas City in the first round of the '06 NFL Draft, and was named to his first career Pro Bowl last season.

Jimmy Graham

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    The great story of Jimmy Graham is the freshest one out of any on this list.

    Graham was put into a group home, after practically being homeless for a time.

    Although he has never had much of a relationship with his parents, he's still managed to lead a successful life to this day.

    The Saints tight end currently leads all NFL TEs with 67 catches for 957 yards, heading into his game tonight against Detroit.