Newly signed LSU football player and Amite High School graduate Devonta Lee put a smile on the faces of Roseland Montessori School students and staff during a visit at the end of May.

“It’s great to come back to my elementary school after six years,” Lee said. “I saw some of my old teachers and administrators for the first time in several years. The kids had smiles on their faces and were excited and happy to have me here. It was a great feeling.”

Lee attended Roseland for eight years and has fond memories of playing football on the playground there, according to a news release.

Lee autographed shirts, hands, pictures, footballs and other items for any child who wanted one in the school gym after assembly Tuesday morning. He said he looks forward to coming back and sharing his success with Roseland Montessori School.

The idea for the Roseland school visit came from Lee. “I want to stay grounded and meet the kids at the school I attended from pre-K through sixth grade. I remember, that was me, and if they want, they will be in my shoes one day,” Lee said to one of his previous teachers when asked about the visit.

“Some kids don’t have any male role models, and I want to show them how staying in school and hard work can pay off. Hopefully, with continued hard work, I can continue this message and become the very best I can. I want to show them you can do anything you set your mind to, but you have to make it happen for yourself, no one else is going to. That is the message I want to send, especially to the youth of Roseland, which holds a special place in my heart”.

Roseland Assistant Principal Rainey Iasigi said, “Some of the kids are challenged at school or struggle to be motivated, so this is inspiring for them to see someone famous from right here in Roseland. It is very motivating for our students,” she said. “They look up to him, he is an inspiration.”

Philicia Mollere, one of his previous teachers said, “It makes me so happy to see a former Roseland student become such a tremendous success. I can’t wait to see all he will accomplish at LSU and beyond. For now I am grateful for him. The message he sends is a powerful one for students needing motivation. ‘He did it, so can you.’ ”