Oher during training camp in Aug 2009
|No. 74 Baltimore Ravens|
|Date of birth: May 28, 1986|
|Place of birth: Memphis, Tennessee|
|Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)||Weight: 310 lb (141 kg)|
|College: Ole Miss|
|NFL Draft: 2009 / Round: 1 / Pick: 23|
|Debuted in 2009 for the Baltimore Ravens|
| As player:
|Roster status: Active|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2009|
|Stats at NFL.com|
Michael Jerome Oher (born Michael Jerome Williams, Jr. on May 28, 1986 in Memphis, Tennessee) is an American football offensive tackle for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Ravens in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. He played college football at the University of Mississippi for the Ole Miss Rebels. His life through his first year of college is one of the subjects of Michael Lewis's 2006 book, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game and the subject of the 2009 film The Blind Side.
Oher was one of twelve children born to Michael Jerome Williams and Denise Oher. His mother was addicted to crack cocaine since her pregnancy with him. As a result, he received little constructive attention during his formative years. He repeated both first grade and second grade, and attended eleven different schools during his first nine years as a student. He also alternated between time spent in various foster homes and periods of homelessness, before he was sixteen years old. Oher's estranged father, Michael Williams, a former cell mate of Denise Oher's brother, was murdered while Oher was a senior in high school.
After playing football his freshman year at a public high school in Memphis, Oher applied for admission to the private Briarcrest Christian School, at the instigation of acquaintance Tony Henderson, with whom he was temporarily living. Henderson was sending his son to the school in order to fulfill the dying wish of the boy's grandmother, and thought Oher might also enroll. The school's football coach submitted Oher's school application to the headmaster, who agreed to accept him if Oher could complete a home study program first. Despite not finishing the program, he was admitted when the headmaster realized that his requirement had removed Oher from the public education system.
Oher was living with several foster families and a football teammate at Briarcrest for twenty months before Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy, a couple with a daughter and son at Briarcrest, allowed Oher to live with them. The family began taking care of his needs after becoming familiar with his difficult childhood. They also connected him with a tutor, who worked with him for twenty hours a week. At Briarcrest, he was named Division II (2A) Lineman of the Year in 2003 and First Team Tennessee All-State. Scout.com rated Oher a five-star recruit and the #5 offensive lineman prospect in the country. Oher eventually brought his 0.6 grade point average up to a 2.52 GPA by the end of his senior year, by becoming a 'B' grade student. This brought his GPA up to 2.05, which he then was able to raise above a 2.65, so he could attend a NCAA Division 1 school by enrolling in some 10-day-long Internet-based courses from Brigham Young University. Taking and passing the internet courses allowed him to replace Ds and Fs earned in earlier school classes, such as English, with As earned via the internet. This finally raised his graduating GPA over the required limit.
After receiving scholarship offers from the University of Tennessee, Louisiana State University, the University of Alabama, Auburn University, and the University of South Carolina, Oher ultimately decided to play for Coach Ed Orgeron and the University of Mississippi (UM), alma mater of Leigh Anne Tuohy and Sean Tuohy, with whom he was living at the time. His decision was not without controversy. The National Collegiate Athletic Association suspected that the Tuohys had taken Oher in and added him to their will in order to secure his services as a player for their favorite college. While it remained suspicious and didn’t close its investigation, the NCAA on Aug. 1, 2005, informed Michael Oher that he was going to be allowed to go to college and play football.  Oher's high school coach Hugh Freeze also created the appearance of possible impropriety by taking a job as UM's assistant athletic director for external affairs twenty days after Oher signed a letter of intent with the school. Freeze claimed that the offer was not an example of quid pro quo for encouraging Oher to attend Mississippi, but rather the result of a pre-existing relationship with Mississippi offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. The NCAA later ruled that Freeze had committed secondary violations by contacting Memphis-area prospects on behalf of the school before he had officially become an employee.
Oher started in 10 games as a guard during his first season with Mississippi, becoming a first-team freshman All American. He shifted to the position of left tackle for the 2006 season, and was named to a variety of preseason All-Conference and All-American teams. He was named a second-team SEC offensive lineman after his sophomore season and a first-team SEC offensive lineman after his junior season. Oher was also successful academically at Ole Miss, and his IQ increased 20 to 30 points between when he was measured in the public school systems growing up and when he was measured in college.
On January 14, 2008, Oher declared that he would be entering the 2008 NFL Draft. However, two days later, he announced his withdrawal from the draft to return to Ole Miss for his senior season. After the 2008-2009 college football season, Oher was selected to the AP All-American first team, made the honor roll for the second time (the first time being his sophomore year), and graduated with a degree in criminal justice in the spring of 2009.
The Baltimore Ravens drafted Oher with the 23rd pick in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. The Ravens acquired the pick from the New England Patriots, giving New England their first- and fifth-round draft picks in exchange. The Tuohy family was there to witness his draft day selection.
|Ht||Wt||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP||Wonderlic|
|6′4⅜″||309 lb||5.34||1.78||3.03||4.60||7.81||30½ in.||8′7″||21 rep||19|
|All values from NFL Combine|
On April 26, 2009, he was assigned the #74 jersey, which was his jersey number at Ole Miss. On July 30, 2009 he signed a 5-year, $13.8 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens. He started the 2009 season at right tackle, but was moved to left tackle after an injury to line-mate Jared Gaither. In week eight, he returned to right tackle. He currently has a listed height of 6'4" and a listed weight of 309 pounds. His 40 yard dash time is 5.32 seconds.
Oher started every game in 2009, 11 at right tackle and 5 at left tackle. He played right tackle in his first postseason game, January 10, 2010, against the New England Patriots, and did not allow a single sack as the Ravens won, 33-14.
Michael Oher came in second in the voting for AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award with 6 votes.
Oher is one of the subjects of Michael Lewis's 2006 book, The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game. A portion of the book was excerpted before publication in the New York Times Magazine as "The Ballad of Big Mike". His portion of the book was adapted for film and was directed by John Lee Hancock. It was released in the United States on November 20, 2009. The movie stars Quinton Aaron as Michael Oher, alongside Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw. The movie was nominated for Academy Awards for both Best Picture and Best Actress for Bullock. Bullock won the Best Actress Award.
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