The tattoos on LaMont Wade’s body tell his story.
“My life, I’ve been through a lot, especially coming where I’m from,” Wade said.
There’s the tattoo of his hometown, Clairton, Pennsylvania, a place he says swallows up more athletes than it lets out.
“If it’s not football, it’s the streets for real, I got friends, family members that were better than me at football but didn’t make it to the level I am because they didn’t have that guidance in their life,” Wade said.
The tattoos representing his grandfather, a father figure for Wade growing up.
“He was my dad because when my dad wasn’t around, he raised me. My grandad was a storyteller, so the stories he told, I felt like I was living in them,” Wade said.
Until one day just before LaMont’s freshman year.
“We always talked about being a bear, that’s such a huge deal and he never got to see me play. He passed away a week before camp. At that time, I didn’t know what to do, I was down on myself. I had with my coach, my uncle, my dad, and everything. One of the last things I remember is him telling me to make a name for myself so I ran with that,” Wade said.
There’s the tattoo representing his grandma, who passed away just two years later in 2015 from lung cancer. LaMont stayed the course and got himself out of Clairton. Football got him to Happy Valley, until he faced another hurdle.
“I’m like, I’m a freshman in college, I just got a call, I’m not ready for this, ” Wade said.
At just 18 years old, LaMont became a dad.
“Having him brought a whole new perspective to my life, having him gave me even more sense of purpose,” Wade said.
With each new hurdle, LaMont used it as fuel for his other passion, music.
“I’ve been making music since I was roughly 10,” Wade said.
He released an album just last year, titled “Unstoppable by Huncho,” each song reflecting about part of his life. He admits he got his passion for music back a couple years ago, when more tragedy struck. LaMont’s best friend, James Hines Jr., was killed in December of 2018.
“Seeing how happy it made him and knowing that he’s not here right now and doing it no more, I try to do it for him and we were actually working on a tape before he passed away and it took everything in me to finish the tape and drop it,” Wade said. “I miss him.”
Whether it’s in the studio or on the field, LaMont says he won’t run from his past, it’s with him every step he goes.
“I don’t want to forget those thing even though they brought me the most pain in my life. I can’t really change anything and even if I had the ability to, I probably wouldn’t because that’s life,” Wade said.