Growing up in a rough-and-tumble Jacksonville housing project, LeRoy Butler wore hand-me-down clothes, what he calls his “Forrest Gump” leg braces and a constant smile.

His grandmother, Rosa Lee Durham, used to tell him that his gift from God was his uncanny ability to “ignore anything negative” such as getting teased for daring to dream about playing in the NFL when he couldn’t even walk straight or having to stay indoors when his siblings went outside to play.