Demetrice Morley, a highly touted recruit out of South Florida, rolled into Tennessee in 2006 and expected to play. He in fact did play that year with an injury ridden secondary and he showed exactly what he could produce: 51 tackles, seven for a loss, and two picks. Morley looked ready to make a leap to stardom.
Well, Morely had academic problems that made him ineligible and thus he was kicked off the team in the summer of 2007. This was disaster for a young budding student athlete.
But it seems Morley forgot the first part of that duty—to be a student.
Morley was dismissed from the program and left just like that. He had nowhere else to go, so he began living in his Caprice Chevrolet in the streets of Miami.
What was he to do? Turn to drugs? Gangs? Would he consider taking his life? All of these are things that could have happened, but Demetrice wanted more.
Morley had a son in June of 2007 and that was his motivation, his anti-drug, his purpose. His son Deion proved to be the savior in his life.
So after having his son, Morley realized what an opportunity he'd had and realized the fact that he'd thrown it away. It wasn't too late, though. He could still make a difference in his life, and he did.
"Just don't take anything for granted," is the standard that Morley now lives by, as he has lived through what could have been his downfall.
Morley got a job at Calhoun's on the River to pay for his classes at Pellissippi State Technical Community College to improve his academic standing and get him eligible to go back to Tennessee.
It was noted that Morley wanted to come back when he was seen at the spring game. But many players thought it unlikely that he would even try to get his grades back up, and they just figured he would drop out and give up on his life. Morley proved them all wrong.
He remained confident through the whole trip that he would get back to Tennessee. He never gave up on his goal—he kept it in sight and reached it.
Demetrice was re-instated in early 2008 to the Tennessee Football team, and he has been practicing and seems to have the starting safety spot opposite Eric Berry locked down.
"I can't let him down so I have to work hard and give it all I have," says Morley about his son. He knows he has to be his example.
This is a truly amazing story. He was kicked out of school, he was done, his life looked bleak, but did he give up?
He was at a crossroads in his life. One way leads to happiness, but it takes much more sacrifice and hard work. The other leads to unhappiness. It's a much easier road to take, but you remain lost inside and something is continually missing.
This student athlete wanted something different for his family and for himself. These are the stories that should be highlighted and shown because this is what strength and determination truly get you.
Shining a light on a truly captivating story.