Tyrann Mathieu was never supposed to be an NFL star.

Growing up in New Orleans, Louisiana, Mathieu professes that he was a shy kid who tried to stay out of trouble. Which was difficult given that his biological parents were largely absent from his life, and trouble was all around him. Mathieu turned to sports as an escape, and realized in high school—thanks to coach and D-line guru Del-Lee Collins—that he had the skills to play football professionally.

Now? He’s an All-Pro cornerback and Pro Bowler for the Arizona Cardinals. Oh, and he also earned SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors at LSU, one of college football’s biggest powerhouses. Pretty good for a kid from NOLA who’s overcome a lifetime's worth of obstacles.

“Life is always going to throw you some kind of challenge, whether it be injuries, whether it be personal, whether it be family,” he says. “You [gotta] just keep pushing forward.”

That’s exactly what Mathieu did: face adversity, attack it head-on, and come out on the other side a better man. He's used the torn ACLs and past personal issues to fuel his fire.

Of course, Tyrann Mathieu is not the only longshot success story out there. Madden NFL 18 features a brand-new story mode centering around the fictional Devin Wade, a forgotten Texas University star who’s trying to realize his NFL dreams. Along the way, he (and by extension, you) must make decisions that impact his draft stock and the overall trajectory of his life. The playable mode combines cinematic storytelling with nuanced and engaging graphics to make for a Madden experience unlike any you’ve ever experienced before.

Be sure to pick up Madden NFL 18 this holiday season to experience the feature first-hand, and peep the video above to hear more about Tyrann Mathieu’s climb to the top.