Many of the Texans have followed interesting paths into the NFL, but rookie Inside Linebacker Shawn Loiseau (pronounced Low-EE-so) has faced far greater adversity than the average athlete. He was relatively unknown as a linebacker at Merrimack College, a small division II school in Massachusetts, but had a life-changing experience in high school that almost prevented him from playing college football anywhere.

1. When he was 17, Loiseau was jumped outside his house when he was walking home from the gym. He was hit across the forehead with a crowbar, and fought back against his attackers so violently that he put one of them into a coma. His attackers charged Loiseau with assault and battery with a deadly weapon, claiming that the ground was his weapon. Loiseau was put on probation for two years and kicked out of high school his junior year, but plead guilty so that he could return for his senior year.

2. That was the only fight Loiseau has ever been in.

3. He was named the Massachusetts player of the year and won a state championship his senior year, but was completely overlooked by division I schools because of his fight.

4. Loiseau enjoyed attending Merrimack, but also called it “basically like going to high school for a second time.” He is the first player from Merrimack College to sign an NFL contract.

5. There were more fans at Monday’s practice (5,700) than Loiseau has ever had at a high school or college game.

6. He played baseball, basketball, and football growing up but was too aggressive to play anything but football. He made a habit of fouling out of games in basketball, and his father convinced him that he should stick with football.

7.Loiseau’s father is surprisingly old at 70, and had Shawn when he was 47. Louiseau credits his father with keeping his spirits up throughout his criminal ordeal, who taught him to work hard despite his adversity.

8. Loiseau’s experience with the criminal system inspired him to earn a criminology degree from Merrimack. He felt that he was treated unfairly by the justice system, and that by understanding the law he could prevent others from experiencing similar injustice.

9. He enjoys lifting in the offseason.

10. He spends most of his time after practice hanging out with rookie Running Back Jonathan Grimes. The two became friends during OTAs and spend their time walking around the neighborhood surrounding Reliant Stadium.

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