A REAL-LIFE RAGS-TO-RICHES STORY ... Michael Oher's rise from homelessness to one of the most sought after players in the NFL is literally the stuff dreams are made of. His heroic journey and subsequent triumph are the subject of both Michael Lewis's 2006 book, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, and the box office hit movie "The Blind Side."
Michael's struggles and triumphs are already modern-day legend. His is a success story with few parallels in recent times. One of 13 children born to a crack-addicted mother, Oher lived on the streets, trying to avoid foster care. His mother was not abusive but showed up only around the first of the month to pick up her federal assistance check.
A neighbor, “Big Tony” Henderson, decided to enroll his son at the Briarcrest Christian School and took along Oher (then called “Big Mike”). Big Tony managed to convince school officials to give Oher a chance, with the hope he could play football. But Oher had an IQ of 80 and had repeated every grade.
His situation looked bleak until Tuohy spotted Oher, wearing the only T-shirt and pair of shorts that would fit him, walking in the snow to school, hoping to break into the heated gym for shelter. The wife of a former Ole Miss basketball player who used sports to make his fortune, Tuohy bought Oher clothes, invited him over for meals, and eventually gave him a place to live. She drew him out of his shell, stuck up for him, even convinced the Briarcrest football coach he was a fool for not running behind Oher on every play.
Oher raised his IQ to 110, improved his grades from a 0.6 GPA to 2.65 and mauled opposing defenders. After receiving scholarship offers from the University of Tennessee, Louisiana State University, the University of Alabama, and North Carolina State University, among others, Oher ultimately decided to attend the University of Mississippi.
Oher started in 10 games as a guard during his first season with Mississippi, becoming a first-team freshman All American. He shifted to his natural position of left tackle for the 2006 season, and was named to a variety of preseason All-Conference and All-American teams. He was named a second-team SEC offensive lineman after his sophomore season and a first-team SEC offensive lineman after his junior season.
On January 14, 2008, Oher declared that he would be entering the 2008 NFL Draft. However, two days later, he announced his withdrawal from the draft to return to Ole Miss for his senior season. After the 2008-2009 college football season, Oher was selected to the AP All-American first team.
On July 30, 2009 he signed a 5 year, $13.8 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens. He started the 2009 season at right tackle. He currently has a listed height of 6'5" and a listed weight of 310 pounds. Oher started at right tackle for the Ravens in every game thus far until the injury to Jared Gaither in week 5, when Oher was moved to left tackle for weeks 5 and 6.
Michael's story is a true testament to the power of trust and love. It's a feel-good human interest story that pulls at your heartstrings and opens your eyes to the true good in people despite their life circumstances and differences. Inspiring audiences to see their greatest challenges as opportunities, Michael is now available for corporate events, endorsements and personal appearances.