Derrius Guice

LSU star Derrius Guice's mom didn't want him following in her footsteps, at least not when it came to attending the local neighborhood high school in Baton Rouge.

"I went to McKinley, and I wasn't really fond of McKinley," Beulah Guice says. "A lot of trouble. I was constantly in a lot of trouble. Fights and stuff."

So Beulah enrolled Derrius at Catholic High, which was about 10 miles away but a world apart in terms of the haves and the have-nots. The adjustment was hard.

Derrius Guice

"There were times where I came home and cried to my mom like, 'Man, I can't do this, it's too much for me,'" Derrius says. "The hardest thing about transitioning from that is going from an all-black society to a completely all-white society. Being around people you were never exposed to growing up."

But he stuck with it, became a decorated running back at LSU and is projected to be picked in the first round of the NFL draft this week. Along the way, one counselor at Catholic made a huge difference in Derrius' life.

Derrius met Stephanie De la Houssaye during his junior year at Catholic.

"I was very closed, never really said anything in our first few meetings," Derrius said. "It took me a while to open up, because I never really just got into my background with anybody."

Eventually he got comfortable enough to begin sharing his story, which included the murder of his father when Derrius was 5.

"She finds out more about my background and she wants to help, finding out what type of situation I'm living in, the environment," Derrius says. "She just saw something in me and she felt like God sent her to help me."

De la Houssaye invited Derrius and his friends to youth parties at her home, and he fit in so well that he asked if he could live there. De la Houssaye asked her husband and two sons. They agreed.

"That's how he moved in with us and became part of our family," she says.

But it cost De la Houssaye her job at the school.

"It was against the rules at Catholic, so she had to resign or she was going to get fired if she kept helping me," Derrius says. "So it was just one of those things, man. So she resigned. She didn't want to stop helping me. So that just really became my family. And, you know, to this day I'm just very grateful."

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