Micah Hyde's roots are planted in Fostoria, Ohio — a town of just over 13,000 people.
But one person stands above the rest to Hyde.
"If you're talking about someone that is able to raise somebody, keep them on a straight path and all that, then if that's your definition of a father figure, then he is,” said Hyde.
Ken Watson entered Hyde's life around the sixth grade, long after Micah's father was out of the picture. ‘Wats,’ as he's known, became that presence at the most important time.
"You need a positive male role model as a teenager. As you're maturing. As you're going through puberty. As all these distractions are around you, whether it's girls or drugs or anything like that. Kids actually go through that stuff in high school. That's what male teenagers go through. So he was able to keep me focused,” said Hyde.
Wats kept Hyde focused by having him work on his farm. Micah started by cutting the grass, before eventually doing everything from bailing hay to cutting wood — not what you'd expect from a teen star-athlete, but exactly what he wanted, and needed, to do.
"On the weekends, I understood that he was going to be at the house at seven o'clock in the morning, honking his horn to get me to go work. And we'd work from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. It didn't matter if I had a game Saturday night and we went and hung out afterwards. It didn't matter if I had something to do later on Saturday night. It didn't matter. He was expecting us to be up at 7 o'clock so he could take us to the farm,” said Hyde.
That work ethic helped take Hyde from Fostoria to Iowa and then the NFL, with Wats there the entire way. The two still talk multiple times a week, keeping the relationship growing from those roots on the farm.
"He could see the motivation in me and I just enjoyed being around him. And it wasn't just because he was paying us to work. It wasn't that. He legit wanted to see me succeed. He legit gave me motivation to go out there on Friday and Saturday nights and just ball out,” said Hyde.