It was an emotional scene at signing day for football players at a Washington, D.C., high school, including one teen, who credits his late friend for introducing him to the sport.
"I had a brother, his name was Ralph, and I wouldn't be playing football without him," said high school senior Jordan Marshall, through tears, during a press conference. "He's the one who got me into this. When he passed away, it was one of the toughest things of my life. This scholarship is for him as well."
He also dedicated the honor to his mother, who wasn't present due to sickness.
"I know she's watching, I know she's proud of me," he said.
Marshall, who will now go on to become a linebacker at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, was one of 18 football players from the Friendship Collegiate Academy, a public charter school, to sign with NCAA Division 1 football programs across the country.
His classmate Nykeim Johnson, a wide receiver, is preparing to go to Syracuse University in New York.
"Receiving this scholarship means a lot to me and my family [...] because my parents are not prepared to pay for school for the next three to four years," Johnson explained during the press conference. "This is truly a dream come true."
Vaughn Taylor, a defensive lineman, will go on to play football for the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, after graduation.
"A lesson I have learned in the classroom is when things get tough, you should always keep working until you succeed," said Taylor, who also acknowledged he wouldn't have the opportunity to attend college had it not been for the multiple scholarships he was rewarded.