Homeless Teen Heads to Ravens

Offensive tackle Oher is 23rd pick of NFL draft
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2009 9:52 AM CDT
Michael Oher, a tackle from Mississippi, speaks with the media after he is selected as the 23th overall pick in the first round of the draft by the Baltimore Ravens.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
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(Newser) – A homeless teen turned All-American football player is headed to the NFL. The Baltimore Ravens yesterday traded up to choose Mississippi offensive tackle Michael Oher as the 23rd pick of this year's draft, reports the Baltimore Sun. "It's been a long journey," said Oher, close to tears. "I'm not going to let them down. I'm going to give them everything I got."

Oher was born in one of the poorest parts of Memphis to a crack-addicted mother, and his absent father was murdered while he was in high school. His story, chronicled in Michael Lewis' bestseller The Blind Side, made him a star even before his arrival at Ole Miss. Some NFL fans expected Oher to be picked earlier in the draft, but the player was unfazed: "I knew I was going to be drafted. Don't feel sorry for me."