Jay Liggins was 11 years old when he left Memphis, Tenn. He remembers it was a Thursday.
Just four days earlier, his mother had made an abrupt decision to move he and his 10 siblings across the country to escape inner-city violence and find a hometown more suitable for raising a large family.
Of all places, they ended up in Bismarck, N.D., a city one-tenth the size of Memphis in a state none of them had ever been to and knew little about.
“It was such a random decision,” Liggins said.
Yet it was one that became incredibly fateful to Liggins’ future, despite numerous challenges he would end up facing along the way.
Later this month, the former Dickinson State University standout cornerback will likely get an opportunity to be the first Blue Hawk signed by a National Football League team.
“It’s an opportunity of a lifetime,” Liggins said. “It’s something I wanted to do, and the fact that it’s in front of me, I had to grab it.”