Fitzgerald Toussaint lives on the Youngstown City Schools-Liberty Schools border and walked more than a mile to practice, two-a-days and other preseason activities for the Leopards football team.
"It shows the type of dedicated athlete he is. He has a commitment for the game," Liberty coach Jeff Whittaker said. "He doesn't miss practice, doesn't miss school. He's pretty religious about his commitment to school and to practice."
It's part of Toussaint's routine.
"I can get a ride if I wanted to," he said. "If I walk, I can think about more stuff. It's something I get used to."
Toussaint is this week's Tribune Chronicle Player of the Week for rushing 11 times for 212 yards and four touchdowns - mostly in the first half Friday at Niles' Bo Rein Stadium against the Red Dragons.
"He has talent, there's no doubt of about it. He a special type of player," Whittaker said. "A lot of kids have that kind of talent around the country. It depends how they commit themselves with that talent.
"Fitz works hard in the weightroom and works hard in the classroom. His efforts have paid off for him, but not all of it is because of hard work. However, he accelerated his abilities through hard work."
Toussaint rushed for 327 yards on 30 carries with five touchdowns in the first two games, but he isn't about to take credit for this effort.
"It came about with good coaching, right playing calling and the offensive line - outstanding performance by them," Toussaint said. "I never pay attention to individual stats no more. I'm about the team. I get what I can and I thank them."
The offensive line is a big part of Toussaint's key to success - especially the effort he had against Niles, Whittaker said.
"Fitz is a human being. He's not a machine. A line is going to have better nights than others. It's combined effort - it's not just Fitz. Fitz has a lot of ability. Somewhere in the offensive line there's going to be a crease. It depends if he hits it well."
Players like quarterback Anthony Cleveland and Isaiah Bell are also instrumental in taking some focus off of Toussaint.
"Fitz know the more weapons we have the more chances it will expose some openings," Whittaker said. "So, they can't load up one them and put 10 guys in the box. Other people will also be influential to the success and failure of this team.
"He's an unselfish athlete. I never once heard him say I need more carries. He's happy to play the game. He's happy with other people having success. That's important to understand going into a college atmosphere."
Toussaint verbally committed to the University of Michigan in April, but cannot officially sign until early February.
"He can concentrate on the task at hand," Whittaker said. "He doesn't have a million coaches calling him every night and the other distractions."
"It takes away all the stress. I can just focus straight ahead on schoolwork and football," Toussaint said.
Truly, that is his focus.
In an early August scrimmage, his father, also named Fitzgerald Toussaint, argued with his ex-wife. Then, her boyfriend, Darnell Harris of Akron, intervened, according to a police report. The two men started argued and Toussaint stabbed Harris in the chest with a knife, police added. The elder Toussaint was arrested over the incident.
But none of this seemed to affect the younger Toussaint, whose mind was on his task at hand - athletics and academics.
"I try not to let it affect me. What's done it done," said Toussaint, whose team hosts Campbell Friday.