Ed Mylett recently sat down with Hall of Fame Elect Terrell Owens about the struggle he went through growing up in Alexander City, AL. Terrell talks about being on the second and third string during his junior year in high school. He got an opportunity to start because of the starting receiver becoming ill before the game. His running back coach broke the news that he would be starting and gave him some words of encouragement “You are going to do fine, and you are going to score a touchdown tonight.” Terrell would end up scoring a touchdown that night. Terrell did not start his senior year in high school, but every time he had an opportunity he would take advantage of it. Owens talked about not being the most sought-after player coming out of high school, but he put in the work to get where he is today.
Terrell grew up in a low-income household in the projects and being on welfare that is something that he understands what it felt like as a child. Having to stand in line to get blocks of cheese, bread, and other food items. Owens is familiar with the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, and food stamps because he went through it. It was not the best of situations to live through with roaches crowing around and when you turn on the lights and they scatter. Talks about his mother having him at a very young age and being brought up by his grandmother along with his other siblings. He shared that his grandmother picked cotton in the south during the 50s and 60s and her mother and father picked cotton as well. These were some of the things that he learned as a child, and he would hear his grandmother discussing with some of her friends about the hardship that she went through.
At one point in Terrell’s grandmother life, she had lost track of her mother and was not aware of where she was at that time. During his time in college and at the beginning of his career was trying to find her grandmother he shared that there were rumors that she was in prison and they were not able to find her.
Terrell admits that he is a product of his environment, but feels that his grandmother raised him the right way. She taught him the definition of discipline and right wrong. Growing up in his grandmother house he had to abide by her roles and regulations. When he made the NFL his grandmother was not aware that her life had just changed because she was diagnosed with dementia in 1996. Owens talks about being draft and was not aware that you still had to make the team because he was not planning on playing past the collegiate level. According to him the 49ers only drafted him because of his physical attributes and what he could possibly bring to the table behind Jerry Rice and other veteran wide receivers at the time. The full interview with Ed Mylett can be seen up above.