Millington native George Odum set to play in Super Bowl for the first time

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MILLINGTON, Tenn. — George Odum, a Millington native, will be on the field with the San Francisco 49ers this weekend playing in the Super Bowl.

Chris Michael, the head football coach at Millington Central Middle High School, says he has coached hundreds of players throughout his tenure, but Odum was always destined for greatness.

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”To achieve the pinnacle of everybody’s career that goes to pro, it’s something that they all dream of and so very few of them ever make it,” Coach Michael said.

However, he says he watched that dream become a reality for George Odum.

The 2013 Millington graduate has been in the NFL for 6 years, and the San Francisco 49ers safety is now heading to the Super Bowl.

Coach Michael says Odum has always had a mentality that breeds success.

”He was really skinny and lank, but he was super active and just had a passion for the game that a lot of the other kids didn’t have,” Coach Michael said. “It just stood out.”

But he says Odum didn’t just stand out because of his ability to play the game but also because of his passion to be successful. Even as an underclassman, Coach says Odum was a natural-born leader who led by action.

”When George is kidding and playing around and they’re goofing off in the locker room or in the field, that’s fine,” Coach Michael said. “We’ll do it. But when he gets straight, we better get straight. He was kind of a tone-setter for that season.”

Coach Michael says he and Odum became close in 2010.

“Northaven got flooded, and they lost their home. He had to be uplifted – his mom and siblings. Now, they’re having to live with an aunt and uncle,” Coach Michael said.

He says Odum eventually went to live with a family member in Tipton County.

“It just happened that they lived near me,” he said. “It just became a daily pick him up, come to school with me and the kids, and take him home after practice.”

During that time, the coaches realized George’s drive for success was due to his dedication to hard work.

“He’s very positive,” said Coach Chester Ford, Millington Central football coach. “You know I never heard him say anything negative.”

“He would leave practice and jump in a vehicle and go meet his uncle on a job site and work till 6 or 7 in the evening and then go home where they had a farm,” Coach Michael said. “He would feed the chickens, and the pigs, and the cows, and take care of cleaning out the stalls in the barn. He would come in the shower, do his homework, and go to bed. And then do it all over again.”

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Coach Michael says he never lost contact with his former player. Over the years, he and his family attended many of Odum’s home games in college and eventually followed his journey into the NFL.

“We love him. We’re proud of him, and we’re glad to call him a Trojan,” Coach Michael said.

You can cheer Odum on in the Super Bowl on WREG News Channel 3 Sunday night. Coverage begins at 10:30 a.m. with the game starting at 5:30 p.m.

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