He's one of the best football players in the NFL and also one of the most controversial. Terrell Owens grew up in Alex City and before you say I've seen him on TV and I think he's a jerk, or he's self centered, listen to what folks have to say who knew him when he was just a kid.
"He was always courteous and had that smile, the one you see when he's in a good mood," said former Radney Elementary School principal and current mayor Barbara Young. Young says little T.O. was a model student but sometimes she gets frustrated with the big T.O. "I'm disappointed, in Alex City we don't promote our boys to be hot dogs, I talked with him one time when he came home and he said Mrs. Young I'm just having fun."
Owens' former 8th grade teacher still follows her former student closely and she's still a big fan. "The main thing about Terrell, whatever he was doing he wanted to do the best he could," said Gayle Humphrey. And Mrs. Humphrey knows her football. "If you throw the ball anywhere near him I'll catch it, he has long arms, big hands, I yell throw him the ball, I catch myself saying that."
And when T.O. came out with his new book, Mrs. Humphrey was mentioned in the first chapter. She was touched to read what her former student and now NFL star had to say. "He talks about how I encourage him and he paid me the biggest compliment by saying I'm the first person outside his family he trusted," said Humphrey.
So you may have your opinions about TO, but now you at least have some more information to go on. And while his former teachers still support him, their quick to point out, he will always be their student and if he steps out of line, watch out. "I've got my paddle in my office and I'll use it on any of mine I've had through the years," said Young.