Jeffery is the second youngest of four boys. Charles and Darren, the two older brothers, lived with their grandmother, Adell, just up the road. Alshon lived with his youngest brother, Shamier, and his parents, Deloris and Charles.
Their neighborhood wasn’t the best. “Whatever you want to do, it was there for you,” he says. But at the same time, if the people in the neighborhood knew your parents, they’d look out for you.
Not that Jeffery needed any motivation. He learned a strong work ethic from his parents. His mother worked multiple jobs while he was a child and his father was in construction.
“My mom always told me, ‘Gifts and expensive things are never going to teach you nothin’ about life. You always have to have respect. Respect is going to take you further than anything. No matter what you do, you’ve always got to work,’” he recalls.
Jeffery was also inspired by his older brothers who were successful athletes at Calhoun County High School. Jeffery initially made a name for himself on the hardwood. He led Calhoun County to four state championships.
But his high school football coach, Walter Wilson, saw how Jeffery’s ability to use his big frame could lead to a bright future on the gridiron. It clicked for Jeffery when he realized that being 6-3 was rare in a good way in football, but not so much in basketball.
Jeffery’s prowess on the football field provided him the chance to go to college. The decision came down to two SC schools - the University of Southern California and the University of South Carolina. Jeffery’s mother admitted that it would be difficult to fly across the country on a weekly basis in the fall to watch him play. Needless to say, the home school won out.
“It was a tough decision to tell Pete Carroll that I wasn’t going to USC. But Pete told me that he’d never leave USC, so I think it worked out,” says Jeffery of Carroll, who did leave USC and is now the Seahawks’ head coach.