There aren't too many kids out there that have gone through what Western Michigan 2015 verbal commit Jamal Brown has gone through in a relatively short amount of time in his young life.
Brown, originally from Detroit, moved to Chicago to live with his grandmother at a very young age after his father passed away and his mother got into drugs.
In Chicago, Brown bounced around from house to house while his grandmother, grandfather, and uncles were plagued with hard drug additions and physically abused him as a child.
After Brown witnessed his grandfather kill his grandmother, he moved in with his biological sisters and started attending Wendell Phillips Academy soon thereafter.
Following a difficult sophomore year, things finally began turning around for Brown after P.J. Fleck and the Western Michigan Broncos offered him his first Division I football scholarship.
"I'm used to people leaving and my life not going right," Brown explained to Hustle Belt.
"I've been through some adversity. It wasn't an easy path to get to and it's still not easy now, but that's one of the reasons I've really looked for a place that feels like a family.
"I wanted to find a school that feels like family away from Chicago. At Western Michigan, I feel like they have the best fit for me right now.
"I really thank god," Brown added.
Brown, whose story has been shared on both Scout.com and Sports Illustrated "Underdogs: Inspiring Stories in High School Football" has seen and been through it all, as shown in the Sports Illustrated video below:
Brown's only other offer came from Toledo, but he was gaining interest from schools such as Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Missouri, Northern Illinois, Syracuse, UConn, and Wisconsin.
It was Brown's growing relationship with coach P.J. Fleck and the rest of the Western Michigan coaching staff and players that made him feel like he had a second home away from home in Chicago.
"[WMU] was the first school to offer me and I can tell coach Fleck really believes in me," Brown said.
"He knows the story about me and he knows I'm high risk. I love the fact that I can have someone that believes I can help their school, so I was very appreciative of him believing in me."
"The vibe I got from the players was awesome. It really felt like home. I know a lot of schools preach family, but I actually felt a connection with Western Michigan."
"I can tell it's going to be a family around there. I met some 2015 commits and we already feel like a family. "
Brown also said he was impressed with the newly renovated facilities at Western Michigan, as well as the practices he attended.
"Their facilities are the best that I've seen out of the schools that I've visited," Brown said.
"The practices seem very intense. They have a DJ at their practices and not many schools have that. The practices are very live."
Brown is expected to play in the defensive backfield when he arrives on campus at Western Michigan, under the tutelage of Assistant Coach/Defensive Coordinator Ed Pinkham. Assistant coach Brian Callahan is Brown's recruiting coach.
At 6-foot-0, 182 lbs., Brown makes for an explosive, hard-hitting safety that has the ability to shake things up on the defensive side of the ball.
Brown plans to attend the Sound Mind Sound Body camp in Detroit later summer and of course plans to take several additional visits to Kalamazoo.
"I really like what Coach Fleck is trying to do. I feel like Coach Fleck believes in me, and I really believe in Coach Fleck."