PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The offers for Lakeridge sophomore running back Ansu Sanoe came in fast and furious this summer.

Georgia, Tennessee and pretty much all of the Pac-12 offered the 6’2, 225 lb 15-year-old.

Sanoe’s future though actually began in the past in a place far, far away.

“Oh yeah,” said Sanoe when asked if he feels like he’s living the American Dream. “My mom’s from Liberia. Both of my parents left because of the Civil War.”

Sanoe’s mom, Agnes, lived through not one, but two Civil Wars in Liberia and was forced into exile at the age of 8.

“Here was the place that I wanted to come to help my people. When I was little I said, ‘God, please help me and take me to America someday,’” recalls Agnes.

In her home country, 250,000 people died over a combined 12 years of war before she immigrated to America at the age of 22. Her moving here, and ultimately her son’s dreams being realized, almost didn’t happen though.

“Our name didn’t come until the last minute. We were the last people to leave the camp,” said Agnes. “One morning the UN went into the hotel and just announced my name and my little daughter’s name, that we were about to go to America. It was unbelievable. I could not believe it. I did not sleep all night.”

Fast forward 19 years later and Agnes’ son is playing a game that he would’ve never played had he lived in Liberia that could take him to places he could’ve never gone to in Liberia.

“I feel like it’s motivation for other kids who come from the same background like that,” said Sanoe. “It doesn’t matter where you start. If you put the work in, you’re going to get to where you want to be.”

Agnes’ pride though comes much more from her son’s off the field accomplishments.

“I’m very proud of him. I am a proud mother,” said Agnes adamantly. “Because wherever I go with him, people talk good about him. What I put in him, I see him living that life. That alone makes me very grateful.”

As for Sanoe? He’s grateful for every time he gets to represent his family on the football field, with the hopes of doing that at higher levels to come.

“It means a lot,” Sanoe said of representing his family “My parents always told me, ‘Never quit. Whatever you want to do. Put your mind to it and good things will come out of it.’ For stuff like this to happen, so early in the process, I’m just thankful that I had my mind focused my whole way through and everything that I wanted is starting to come to light.”