ST. LOUIS — When you look at the Roosevelt Roughriders starters on offense, you can't help but notice the big fella in the middle of them all, Alex Mugisha.

He stands at six feet tall weighing in at 285 pounds, but not only is he one of the biggest on the team, he's the smartest and the leader said head coach Trey Porter.

"Being a leader of men on a team like this is great, it's a characteristic that doesn't go unnoticed at all," Porter said.

It's a title Mugisha didn't ask for, but he's took the task head on helping others along the way, like his quarterback and best friend Tabraon Neal.

"He help me with my work, missing work, he helps me go get missing work, he even go get my missing work, Alex Mugisha is my best friend on and off the field," Neal said.

Racking up a 4.0 GPA, Mugisha is one of the best students at Roosevelt high school and said he doesn't take his school work lightly.

"I just look back and think I could have died, that's why I thank god every day," Mugisha said.

"I think the game of football and the game of life is easy for him based on what he's seen at such a young age," Porter said.

Mugisha is from Congo, Africa but his family knew at an early age, they needed a change of scenery.

"A war going on when I was two and my brother had gotten his leg blown out, momma had got shot three times," Mugisha said.

He didn't know it then, but Mugisha nearly lost his life that day.

"I was on my moms back, because africans be tying us on they back and I didn't realize I would have died so I'm really thankful," Mugisha said.

Following the chilling incident, his family came to the states in search of better healthcare for his brother. The first stop for his family, New York for a brief moment then off to Idaho and finally St. Louis. A place Mugisha can now call home.

"All I heard when I came here is Roosevelt sucks, it's a bad school, people get in fight a lot, but coming here but ti's different from that it's so much love at this school," Mugisha said.