Kwity Paye Says His Mom Is Done Working After Being Drafted

Kwity Paye became the 21st pick in the 2021 NFL Draft when the Indianapolis Colts selected him. And while the moment was special for the Rhode Island native and standout Michigan defensive tackle, you could argue it was just as special for his mother, Agnes Paye.

An ethnic Liberian Krahn, she had first escaped a refugee camp in Sierra Leone and gave birth to her son in another refugee camp in Guinea. 

Paye, who was named after his grandfather, who was killed in the First Liberian Civil War, was born in that refugee camp in Guinea, but soon his mother fled with him and his older brother, Komotay, again, this time leaving West Africa completely. According to ESPN, Agnes made it to Providence, R.I., when Paye was six months old and worked multiple jobs to help her family survive.

Agnes signed both her sons up for football at the Boys and Girls Club, according to the Providence Journal, and they both stuck with it. Eventually, Paye got into Bishop Hendricken, a Cathoilc boys high school that came with a hefty pricetag.

But Paye promised his mother that if she let him go, she would not have to pay for college. She worked multiple jobs to pay his tuition and Paye made good on his promise, picking the University of Michigan, where he played defensive tackle.

Paye was a three-time academic All-Big Ten selection at Michigan and was named a team captain. According to ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr., Paye is a “terrific athlete” and a “physical specimen.” He also described him as aggressive and is intrigued by his upside.

On NFL Draft night, he made his, and his mother’s dreams come true. According to CNBC, Paye being selected at No. 21 in the NFL draft give him a total contract value of $13.66 million with a signing bonus of $7.3 million.

“She’s done working,” Paye told ESPN’s Maria Taylor during the NFL Draft’s broadcast. “She’s retired.”

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