Raheem Mostert saved his biggest game for one of the NFL's biggest stages, but the nationally televised breakout may have never happened were it not for his wife, Devon.
The San Francisco 49ers running back had a record breaking performance in the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers, rushing for close to 200 yards and four touchdowns -- both best in NFC title game history. His breakout game helped offset the loss of fellow running back Tevin Coleman to injury early in the game, and propelled the 49ers to the doorstep of the Super Bowl.
As the San Francisco Chronicle noted in a feature on Mostert in December, he had a winding path to the NFL. The 49ers running back said he lived as a "beach bum" on the Florida coast as a teen and was even offered a professional surfing contract, but opted to take a college football scholarship to Purdue. He failed to make much of an impression on the football field, though he was a four-time Big Ten spring champion and even got an invite to try out for the U.S. Olympic team.
Mostert opted to try to make the NFL, though had a rough path after going undrafted. As the report noted, he was waived by the Philadelphia Eagles in his first attempt to make it in the league, and didn't find much success after that. Mostert was also cut by the Dolphins, Ravens, Browns, Jets, and Bears.
During that time, wife Devon offered whatever support Raheem needed while he tried to make his dream of being an NFL player a reality.
"It became second nature," Devon said. "Every time he'd get released and picked up by another team, I would be like 'I've got this. Don't worry. Go to the next city. Worry about the playbook. I'll handle the apartment and whatever I need to close on the bills.'"
"I would say that our first year was stressful. It was unexpected and we just didn't understand the NFL life. But after that, we kind of just rode the wave."Raheem and Devon Mostert seem to be enjoying the ride now. Raheem frequently shares pictures of the family on Instagram, including son Gunnar Grey, who was born in 2018. Thanks to his wife's help, Mostert ended up finding a home with the 49ers. Though fans watching the NFC title game may not believe it, Mostert was primarily a special teams player, leading the team with 10 special teams tackles. But he also earned some carries in an already crowded backfield with Coleman and Matt Breida, leading to his incredible performance to help the 49ers advance to the Super Bowl.
Raheem Mostert is now getting plenty of attention, and Devon likely will as well as the team advances to the Super Bowl.