Carolina Forest football player beats the odds to earn full scholarship

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Under the Friday night lights, Quasim Porter isn't just a football player, but also a teammate, friend and son to many.

For Dr. Melissa Sanders, Porter is family.

"He was one of the most respectful, kind individuals that I've run across in my teaching career," says Sanders, who's in her 12th year teaching at Carolina Forest High School.

That's because for three months, Porter lived with Sanders' family in Conway due to his unstable situation. He never lived with his mother and never even met her until he was a teenager. His father spent time in prison.

Desperate to leave his father and stepmother, Porter was looking for a change.

"She's a role model to me," he said about Sanders. "She taught me a lot of things in a matter of six months that I never knew."

A mild-mannered kid, Porter has been to 16 schools his entire life, including two high schools in Arizona and three high schools in Myrtle Beach. Still, he's not bothered.

"I didn't care. I made friends," Porter said. "I just didn't want the bonds to be close because I knew I was going to move either way."

The one constant in his life was football. According to Ronny West, Porter's legal guardian and father of his best friends, that love has been unbroken since Porter was in the first grade.

"I remember the first time I met him. The first thing was his smile. It was like the toothy smile that you don't see a whole lot with him," West said with a smile of his own.

It's that same smile Porter has used to power through every stress in his life. Then there is the attitude that earned him a 4.2 grade point average and a full scholarship to Presbyterian College.

The legend of Quasim Porter is just as strong off the field as it is on it.

"There was a student of mine Quasim found out was down on her luck financially," Sanders said. "He would go get his lunch from the cafeteria and share that lunch with that young lady, and you don't see that level of kindness among high school students very often."

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