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UT’s Shakif Seymour prepares for NFL Draft after loss of mother cut senior season short

Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 11:21 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - University of Toledo running back Shakif Seymour is preparing for the NFL Draft, taking a year of tragedy, including the loss of the most important person in his life, and turning it into something positive.

“It’s been wild,” Seymour said. “I’ve been training by myself. Didn’t have a trainer. So it’s been all my work, waking up every day, doing meal prep, heading to the weight room. So they’ll have something to see besides the game field tape.”

Following a Week 1 win against Bowling Green in November, Seymour lost his mother, Teishua Lawrence. He did play in Week 2, but after scoring a touchdown in the first quarter, he had to take a break.

“The last year has been hard. I saw an article that said I was injured. I wasn’t injured. I lost my mom. Then after her funeral, I lost three of my cousins. Then another the week later. Lost two more family members this week,” Seymour said. “So I have a lot on my mind. I try to block it out the best I can. One day when I have the platform my story will be able to be told. I’ll connect with a lot more people and they’ll understand that I’m more than just a football player, more than just ‘Fish.’ I’m Shakif.”

Seymour continues, “I stopped working out for a while. I was so stuck on life. It was beating me up. Still is. I lost my mom four months ago, and six more people after that. But I can’t stop doing what I love because of the pain. My mom was my best friend. When I lost her I almost gave up. I talked to her every day while she’s at work for the last five years. The only time I didn’t call was November 7, when she passed. But I can’t give up. There’s a lot riding on this. I can play football. I don’t worry about that. But I need to be a rock for my family like my mom was.”

His work on the field speaks for itself. Whether his future is playing on Sundays or something else, Seymour knows he can bring positivity wherever he goes, using a skill his mother thought was his greatest ability.

“I’m not just a football player. I want to help as many people as I can. My goal is to be a motivational speaker and talk to kids like from where I come from. All over the world, everybody needs help that are in a situation like where I came from. Since I was 12 years old my mom told me ‘son, you’re going to be a speaker. People listen to you.’ If I can build a platform, be the best football player I can be for my team and coaches and people know Shakif Seymour as a person, then I’ll be able to help a lot of lives. Most of my life has been negativity, but I can drive that positive factor into more people’s lives.”

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