Mike Iupati's parents sacrificed a lot for him to be where he is today.
Now, it's his turn to give back.
Iupati was 14 and still learning English when his parents, Belinda and Aposetolo, decided to leave their home in American Samoa to give their children a chance to be better off.
"In Samoa, we had a house, had our own land," the Idaho guard said. "My dad was working as a mechanic, and he was probably the highest-paid mechanic there, and my mom was helping out at my cousin's restaurant. So we were a decently well-off family in Samoa. But my parents knew there was nothing there; the opportunities were limited. They wanted us to excel in the U.S., so they just dropped everything and moved here."
The family began its life in the U.S. living in Auntie Lua's garage in Southern California. A year later, the family of five moved into a small apartment in Anaheim, living paycheck to paycheck.
"It's been hard," Iupati said. "That's why I always take advantage of every little opportunity I get, just try to seize the moment so I can have a better future for myself and my family."
Iupati is on the verge of NFL riches. He is the best guard in the draft, and scouts believe, because of his 35-inch arms, that he has a chance to play tackle in the NFL. Iupati struggled at left tackle at the Senior Bowl, but he still is expected to be a first-round draft choice.
"He's a terrific player," Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable said. "I think his future will be very bright. He's going to have to transition from that level to the NFL. But he showed he has the ability to do that at the Senior Bowl. I'm very proud of him. I'm pulling for him to succeed big-time."
With his first paycheck, Iupati is going to buy his parents a house in Samoa. It would prove, beyond a doubt, that you can go home again.
"They want to have their own house and live there," Iupati said. "To build a house for them would be the biggest thing I would ever want to do for them."