Football is just a game. But it can also change your life.
Those Friday night lights, shine bright here in Texas where success is usually measured in yards.
But for one family, gains and losses, are measured in years. Because sometimes, the real story is revealed when the lights go out.
"We always talked about him wearing the number 3, because he's the third. I want him to leave his own mark." said James Miles III
"I really don't see myself doing anything else but playing football."
James is a senior at Irving High School. He's a running-back, with big dreams
"It's one of the ways that I can make it big in life, really. It's one of the easiest ways, because of what I was born to do."
His mom Shayla understands the glow of the Friday night lights too.
"My story is a little deeper than Friday night lights. It's what happened when the lights went out," said Shayla Miles.
She measures success in years -- not yards.
"James knows I'm not going to miss any games."
A single mom -- just trying to provide.
"But all he wants to see is his daddy standing on the sideline," said Shayla.
But his dad currently sits behind bars for assaulting a step brother. A 10 year sentence.
"I haven't seen him play one down of high school football," said James Miles Jr.
"It's really, really hard... He had me so heated, I took a full beer bottle and threw it and hit him in the face, started punching him after that."
"I got this last week," said James Miles III
He communicates with his son through hand written letters.
"I hope this letter finds y'all in nothing but good spirit and good health."
"how do you keep it together? I pray. I give it all to god. It's the only thing i can do... I know it's the best thing to do."
Those bright lights can also cast dark shadows.
"Tell me about your dad. Who's your dad? James Miles Jr. Also known as Boobie Miles."
The Boobie Miles.
"One of the greatest running backs to ever live."
A larger than life figure, made famous through the pages of Friday night lights.
"It was like the best thing in the world," said James Miles Jr.
But he's never seemed to outrun his high school days.
"30 to 35-thousand people at a game on Friday night. It's just an incredible feeling."
"I just wish he could be able to see it," said James Miles III
But he can't.
"Sigh... imagine waking up every day, every morning, you gotta get up and the first thing that comes to your mind is, how are the kids doing? I can pace that cell all day and all night but there's nothing I can do about it but pray. Just imagine, you got kids? I do. Just imagine. I can't imagine. Exactly. It's hard, not being able to hug my daughter or hug my sons, and tell them how much i love them. It's hard man," said James Miles Jr.
"Is there added pressure for you to do something big in football because of the name? Yes. You answered that pretty quick. Yes. Always. Talk to me about that pressure. Always, 100 percent pressure," said James Miles III.
"You know James is his own man. I want him to make his own mark," said James Miles Jr.
But his dad's shadow is hard to elude...
"It's a blessing because not everyone gets to have a super star as a father. But it's a curse because it's all they know me for," said James Miles III.
Boobie's career was cut short by injuries.
"That's me with the knee brace right there."
The scholarship offers all but disappeared.
"There will be people who see this story and they'll say, Boobie put himself in this position. Yeah. And I agree with that. I did put myself in this position," said James Miles Jr.
This is the next step for James Miles III.
"signing day. We made it," said mom Shayla.
James' journey will continue in college.
"Waited my whole life for this moment," said James Miles Jr.
It's a moment, no parent wants to miss.
"I don't want to be in here seeing it. I want to be out there beside him," said Boobie.
And this time he is. Released early for good behavior, Boobie has a new slate.
"It's what I always dreamed about," said Boobie.
Just in time to see his son do something he never did.
"going off to school to play ball," said Boobie.
Football maybe just a game. But it can also change your life.
"I had my chance and I failed myself," said Boobie.
But here's a chance to finally make the right moves.
"You know if your child has a dream, you gotta believe in them," said Boobie.
So where is James going to college?
He signed with Fort Scott Community College in Kansas.
If he continues to work hard, his coach believes he'll be playing at a division one program in no time.