Philly teen beats the odds, recruited to play football at West Point Military Academy this fall

The Imhotep Charter senior will be playing free safety for West Point Military Academy's football team.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- It's a story of resilience. Jamir Reyes' father died, his mom is on disability and he'll say kids from his neighborhood don't go to college. But with the odds stacked against him, he's now the first from his family to go to college

"I got a phone call from my coach first. He told me, 'Congratulations!' and I'm like 'Congratulations on what?'," he recalled. "He told me I got the offer!"

Reyes says he has never forgotten that phone call.



The high school senior at Imhotep Charter High School will be playing free safety for West Point Military Academy's football team once he finishes a year at their prep-school.

"It's definitely an honor because, especially coming from where I come from, a lot of people don't get an opportunity to go play there," said Reyes. "When I was 13, my dad passed away. So my mom being a single mom basically, on disability - it's hard for her to provide for us. I was always at the gym or doing football just to get my mind off of it."

Reyes is the first in his family to go to college.



"I was hard on him early on. Like hard because I wanted to see how much he really wanted it," said Devon Johnson, head coach at Imhotep. "He showed that anything is possible."

Coach Johnson says Reyes never used his home situation as a crutch or an excuse, but as a motivation to work harder.

"He always had the grades for it, but he had to work at it for the SAT - practicing Monday through Friday, going on Saturdays and Sundays to get SAT prep and tutoring. He will be the first player that we ever have to go to Army West Point," he said. "So that that just kind of shows that not just kids that are in this program, but also kids in the City of Philadelphia and inner cities across the country, that it doesn't matter where you start or where you go through. It's what you want out of this life and the type of work that you're willing to put in."

Reyes says after he did his first visit to West Point, he cried because he couldn't believe that he was actually going there this Fall.
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