With a drug addicted mom and a dad he'd never met, a homeless 16-year old Michael Oher was struggling to stay in school. He had a 0.6 grade point average, but a strong will to make something of himself, reports CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller.
Then came a brisk November day in 2002 when the shy teenager met the woman he'd eventually call Mom.
"It wasn't just a fluke that Michael was on this street the minute we were driving down it," said Leigh Anne Tuohy. "That's just fate."
In the new movie, "The Blind Side," Sandra Bullock plays Leigh Anne Tuohy, the tough no-nonsense mother of two who took Michael Oher under her wing. From that day on Michael became part of the Tuohy family.
"I was probably like a drill sergeant," Tuohy said. "He'd been passed on from grade to grade with zero foundation."
"He was the most obvious success waiting to happen," said Sean Tuohy. "And it wasn't going to happen."
So the Tuohys opened their home, found a tutor, and Michael began to tackle the obstacles towards graduation. The 6-foot-4 300-pounder also began to tackle the gridiron.
"You very seldom see it in the game of football - a kid that size that can stay on his feet while he plays," said Hugh Freeze, Oher's high school coach.
But his coach says sometimes Oher struggled with the plays themselves.
Once he got it, Oher became the most sought after offensive lineman in the nation. He graduated with a 2.65 GPA and Ole Miss, his parents' alma mater, beat out a host of SEC schools for the talented left tackle. In the spring of this year, he because a first round draft pick.
"His dream was to be an NFL player and he worked so hard for it," Leigh Anne Tuohy said.
Oher made it to the pros. After signing a $13 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens, the 16-year-old survivor, the kid who could barely talk to strangers, has taken his can-do spirit to the NFL.
"Every day it's a dream come true," Oher said.
And every day Michael is thankful the Tuohy's took a chance on him.
"I love them to death," Oher said. "Without them I would not be where I am."