WACO (October 20, 2013) -- LaDainian Tomlinson wasn't supposed to be here.
His shot at a starting job and college scholarship drove away, down I-35 when his mom left Waco for a job in Dallas before his senior season in 1996.
"She could've been selfish and said I need you with me," Tomlinson said.
L.T. hadn't played one game at running back during his first three years at University, so moving away from Waco wouldn't be a big deal.
"He wouldn't allow me to go because he said the scouts wouldn't know where to find him," she said. "I knew I could leave him…he was such a good kid."
So his mom moved and he stayed. And in his first and only season at running back, L.T. had 2,500 yards and 39 touchdowns. It landed him an offer at TCU and eventually, his place as one of the greatest NFL running backs of all time.
"It's no question the best decision my mom and I made at the time for the better of my future," he said.
A future that now includes his place in the Waco I.S.D. Hall of Fame, alongside Waco High grad and Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson.
"This is my roots. This is where I'm from. This is where I laid the groundwork to be a great athlete," Tomlinson said.
"Everything my brother does now is all stemmed off what coach Tusa taught us. He really instilled a lot of discipline in us, work ethic and dedication for what we love," said Derrick Johnson's brother, Dwight.
The two were inducted this weekend, in the place where it all began.
"These are the times you look back and say, 'wow, I've come a long way," Tomlinson said.
All the way back to where he was meant to be , home in Waco.