Juju Smith-Schuster is having quite the first year with the Kansas City Chiefs. The former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver has been a key offensive weapon for Patrick Mahomes' new touchdown tribe and as the NFL star prepares for Super Bowl LVII, it's clear JuJu wouldn't be where he is today without the support of his mom. So who is JuJu Smith-Schuster's mom, Sammy Schuster?
Sammy Schuster has been the NFL wide receiver's biggest cheerleader since his high school phenom days playing at Long Beach Polytechnic High School in Long Beach California. JuJu was a five-star wide receiver and top-four athlete in the country back in his high school days. And it was clear from the early days that TeamJuJu had a bright future ahead of him. Thankfully the young wide receiver had a solid support system in his mom and step-father Lawrence Schuster.
From High School to USC to the NFL, JuJu's Mom Has Been a Rock
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Sammy Schuster kept her passionate foundation alive when her all-star son left for the University of Southern California to play close to his family in Long Beach. The Kansas City Chiefs receiver turned down multiple offers from heavy hitters like Notre Dame and Oregon, preferring to play for the 11-time national champions in Los Angeles.
The Kansas City Chiefs wideout has a deep love for Southern California and his family. His USC days concluded with a Rose Bowl win over Penn State and a litany of USC records, including first in USC single-game receiving touchdowns by a freshman (3), third in USC single-season receiving yards (1,454), fourth in USC career receptions (213), seventh in USC single-season receptions (89) and a total of 25 collegiate career touchdowns over three seasons.
JuJu Smith-Schuster's mom was with him every step of the way. The mother of seven fought through adversity to give her son every opportunity she could, even if that meant moving her family to JuJu's grandmothers where the Super Bowl-bound wide receiver slept on a lightly padded concrete floor until he left USC for the NFL. JuJu's mom knew her son was destined for something bigger and wouldn't let any obstacle stand in the way of his NFL dreams.
In 2017, JuJu became a second-round pick in the NFL draft and his life changed forever. The Pittsburgh Steelers knew they were drafting a touchdown maker and capable NFL wide receiver, but what Steelers Nation may not have known was that they were getting one of the most competitive, optimistic and mentally tough future NFL players in the 2017 NFL draft.
Smith-Schuster's mom, Sammy, was elated, watching her son finally achieve his dream of playing in the NFL -- and all by the age of 20. A lot of adversity has followed him since the Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 NFL draft, including missing most of his 2021 season with the Steelers. Sammy's son faced a season-ending shoulder injury after hitting his free agency and turning down the Baltimore Ravens to stay in Pittsburgh.
How the Pittsburgh Steelers Upset JuJu's Mom
The decision to opt for surgery may have felt like a soul-crushing outcome for the wide receiver, his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers was quickly slipping through his fingers. Sammy would have rooted for her son regardless, even if he'd been traded to the Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals or Philadelphia Eagles, but ultimately missing the 2021 season set the stage for Sammy Schuster's son to join a recent Super Bowl winning team. The opportunity arose for the Kansas City Chiefs to acquire the former Steeler's touchdown maker and JuJu jumped at the chance, signing a one-year deal worth $3.7 million before incentives. Still, JuJu's mom felt jilted by the Steelers and took to social media.
At the time, it didn't feel very good for JuJu's protective mother Sammy. In fact, Smith-Schuster's mom was trending on social media after the NFL mama bear shared her thoughts over the Steelers letting the wide receiver go. Sammy Schuster had no problem calling out the Pittsburgh Steelers, taking to her social media accounts to say, "As expected I've lost 400k followers," she wrote. "It's all good. I will say this ... like all marriages, relationships, and friendships ... there is always one person who fights to keep that love alive ... In our case ... We JuJu & I fought to stay in Pittsburgh because it was never about money it was about loyalty."
JuJu's mom didn't stop there, continuing, "But I guess Steelers had a new boyfriend in mind [laughing emoji]. So they didn't want JuJu anymore. FYI Pittsburgh!! We fought to stay!!! If your [sic] not wanted then why? Stay!!! Thank you to the loyal family (fans) who are still following me!!! Steeler Nations!!!!"
Kansas City Chiefs Bring Brighter NFL Days Ahead
The sting of feeling slighted by the Pittsburgh Steelers has surely been replaced with elation over the Kansas City Chiefs heading to Super Bowl LVII. Sammy knows the arduous road her son has endured to reach this pinnacle NFL moment. Between all of the success her son and wide receiver has had with the Kansas City Chiefs, and all of the good the NFL touchdown dancer's charity, The JuJu Foundation has accomplished -- things are looking up.
JuJu's charity is a non-profit dedicated to youth initiatives and lending a hand to those in need. The Foundation was established in 2019 and his mother currently sits on the board of directors as secretary and treasurer. The Super Bowl bound wide receiver values acts of service, even unplanned ones like his donation to Animal Friends last year.
Sammy Schuster is proud of not only how far her son has grown in the NFL, but his dedication to acts of service. "Coming from nothing, living in my moms garage with my seven kids to where we are now. It humbles you. I've always been a lover and giver. So it was very important to me to instill that into my son. Using his platform for the greater good!!" she posted on her social media.
A Mother's Love Never Wavers On The Road To The Super Bowl
JuJu's journey to a successful, Super Bowl-bound NFL career has been one paved with adversity, but at every turn, the resilient wide receiver has pulled from all the lessons his mother has instilled in him. A mother's love is truly a powerful and magical thing and something Sammy isn't afraid to display on social media.
This season after he took a hard helmet-to-helmet hit, Sammy took to her instagram account to update Chiefs Kingdom on the latest news. She also shared a sentiment all NFL players mom's can relate to, writing, "Mommy will always have your back!! If I could.. I would take allllll those hits for you!! I love you my sweet child!!"
Thankfully, for both JuJu and the Kansas City Chiefs, it wasn't long before he was catching receptions from Patrick Mahomes again. This season the NFL has witnessed an explosive and relentless arsenal of offensive weapons in Kansas City and has been an essential playmaker for the recently named MVP.
After five seasons and 26 touchdowns with the Pittsburgh Steelers, it's clear he has been through the wringer on his road to the Super Bowl. It's still unclear if the NFL star will have the opportunity to score a touchdown during Super Bowl LVII. Unfortunately, the California native suffered a knee injury in the playoffs that may keep him from adding any receptions to his postseason career with the Kansas City Chiefs.
However, whether or not Mahomes connects with JuJu for a touchdown during Super Bowl LVII, his family knows how deserving the Kansas City Chiefs and former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver is of this monumental NFL career moment. And Smith-Schuster's mom must be proud that her son has made such a positive impression on Chiefs Kingdom. Playing with the Kansas City Chiefs two-time MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes has helped invigorate the wide receiver.
Last year during October's NFL action, after facing Tom Brady, the former Steelers wideout added insult to injury when news broke that "JuJu learned more about offense in his time with the Chiefs than he did in five years with the Steelers." Ouch. Maybe JuJu's mom, Sammy and the wide receiver still aren't over how things went down with the Pittsburgh Steelers. It's also possible that the elite coaching of the Kansas City Chiefs Coach Andy Reid and MVP Patrick Mahomes simply surpassed any NFL coaching he experienced in Pennsylvania.
Regardless, JuJu wouldn't be where he is today without the unwavering, outspoken love of his mother. "She is the person I can always go to, talk to about personal stuff on and off the field," said the Super Bowl-bound wide receiver. "She has always been the heart of our family."
As for the future, it's clear JuJu has found his groove in Kansas City. But if the former USC wideout decides to take his talent elsewhere, like to Broncos to team up with Sean Payton and Russell Wilson, we're sure Sammy will be ready to go in the stands, cheering on her son. Heck, if he played for the Mets in MLB, the Rangers in the NFL, or the Grizzlies in the NBA, we are sure Sammy Schuster would be the first to buy his jersey.
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