Family comes first for Muskegon’s La’Darius Jefferson

La'Darius Jefferson walks on the field before Muskegon's senior night with family members.

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — There’s only one thing La’Darius Jefferson loves more than football.

“I love my mother so much, and my grandmother so much, and my auntie so much,” said Jefferson. “Because they helped raise me as a child.”

Even though he shows maturity well beyond his age, Jefferson is still a kid, and it’s his family he would do anything for.

“I feel like it was destiny that God set my path to go down there and reconnect with my mom,” said Jefferson.

After his freshman season with the Big Reds, Jefferson moved to Mississippi to live with his mother and two sisters. The experience taught him a lot about his mother and gave him perspective that has helped him grow.

“How she raised kids, how she taught my little sisters to grow up. She did an amazing job,” he said.

Jefferson played football in Mississippi during his sophomore season, but something was missing.

That something was his Big Reds football family. He and his mom had to discuss that.

“I told my mother (Muskegon) is the best opportunity for me,” said Jefferson. “If I want to continue to be a great young man and excel on the football field with my life, not just as a college athlete, but as a young man, I feel these coaches can be the ones.”

His mom agreed.

This time, his mom and sisters moved to Muskegon too.

So far, it’s worked out for the best.

As a senior, he’s accounted for almost 3,000 yards and nearly 50 touchdowns. He has scholarship offers from Michigan State and the University of Central Florida. Jefferson was verbally committed to play for the Knights until Monday, when he reopened his recruitment via Twitter.

Jefferson also has the Big Reds two wins away from a state championship.

“I don’t think La’Darius will ever know how much it means to me he chooses to come back to Michigan,” said Muskegon coach Shane Fairfield. “Or how much it means to the coaching staff that he wanted to spend his high school career here with these guys, this place, this program, this stadium, this school.”

That’s hard to say, because for the first time in his life Jefferson has his family, football included, all in one place.

“That’s probably the best part,” Jefferson said with a smile. “I’ve got all of them here.”

As a family.