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Marshall Faulk

Raised In New Orleans

Born February 26, 1973, in New Orleans, Marshall William Faulk grew up in one of the city's rough-and-tumble housing projects, where sirens and broken windows prevailed. His mother, Cecile, stayed busy raising six sons and working odd jobs, while his father, Roosevelt, owned a restaurant and bar. He also worked part-time for a trucking company.

Faulk's childhood was filled with struggles. He moved through a number of elementary schools, his parents

Marshall Faulk

divorced, and he spent part of high school living on his own because his mother was sick. Yet Faulk never complained about the hardships—and he doesn't like it when people treat his success like a rags to riches story.

Faulk expressed his thoughts this way in an issue of USA Today, "This whole upbringing thing that people want to make my story, I don't want it. At least not the story that they want to make it…. I don't want mystory to be something that it's not. Sure, I grew up rough, but my upbringing was like millions of other kids from the projects."

At New Orleans's George Washington Carver High, Faulk unleashed his smorgasbord of talents, helping the offense by playing quarterback, running back, tight end, wide receiver, and flanker. He was also a solid defensive back.

Despite his success, Faulk almost quit the sport. Early on in high school, Faulk told coach Wayne Reese that he needed to quit the football team so he could work at his brother's barbecue stand because the family needed money. Reese, however, had already pegged Faulk as a potential NFL star. He counseled Faulk about his future, persuading him to work through the current tough times and look toward the future. To help Faulk earn money, Reese secured a janitorial job for him at the school. Faulk's teenage years were marked by long school days—he arrived early in the morning to work, then stayed afterward for football practice.

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