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Malik Nabers: ‘Football saved my life’

On3 imageby:Kaiden Smith05/12/24

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Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

Rookie minicamps have kicked off across the NFL as the league’s incoming players get their first taste of what the pros are like ahead of the 2024 season.

First-round draft selections get a lot of eyeballs and attention during rookie minicamp, and New York Giants wide receiver Malik Nabers is no different after being selected with the No. 6 overall pick in the latest NFL Draft out of LSU. And following his first practice with the team, Nabers spoke about who he is as a person. He also opened up about the significance that the game of football has had on his life.

“I’m a funny person to be around, good person to be around,” Nabers said. “As a person that plays football, it’s the kind of thing that saved my life. So I take it serious. I’m happy to be here, I’m finally here. So just to get out there running with the guys, it’s a dream come true.”

Nabers established himself as one of college football’s top wide receivers after catching 89 passes for 1,569 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. He became LSU’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards and rightfully earning himself a top selection in this year’s NFL draft. Accomplishments that may been a result of football being viewed as the only option for the Youngsville, Louisiana native.

“It was the only thing that I felt like I could do with my life,” Nabers admitted. “It was the only thing that I felt like when I looked on what I wanted to do in the future, it was the only thing I had plans to do. So it saved me and my family’s life. It put my mom in a house that she wants, it changed my life forever. So I’m happy to be here.”

Taking care of his mother was a top priority for Nabers after hearing his name called in Detroit at the NFL Draft. Telling reporters that he bought his mother her first house a week ago in a moment that the two will likely cherish forever.

“It was very important. That was the most important thing in my life, I’ll probably say, is having her have her own house. Feel comfortable, not having to worry about bills, and knowing that her little boy did it for her,” Nabers said.

Nabers was also asked what advice he’s received from his mother as he transitions from college to the NFL level. He pulled back the curtain on their special relationship in the process.

“As a mother she’s always going to protect me from anything that comes my way, but it’s an understanding that I’m doing it. It’s my life that’s going forward. And this football thing, I chose to do it and I know everything I like about football. They’re just watching from the back,” Nabers explained. “So she just supportive, she’s just going to support me in any way possible and she’s just happy for me, proud of me.”

It’s safe to say that Nabers found his calling and has made his family proud in the process, as he’ll look to make the New York fan base proud as well moving forward ahead of his highly anticipated rookie season in the Big Apple.