It seems Louis Nix rarely takes a day off. Heck, despite carrying 350 pounds as a defensive lineman at Notre Dame, he rarely took a play off.

Maybe it's because staying in motion has served Nix well in life and football. The best pure nose tackle prospect in the 2014 NFL draft pool likely will come off the board in the first round next month. But regardless of when Nix is picked, just reaching the NFL will mark the latest milestone for a kid whose dreams weren't nearly as big as his body just a few years ago.

Nix grew up with 13 siblings (nine brothers, four sisters) in northwest Jacksonville, an area he says "was like a murder capital," full of drugs and shootings, but one he survived thanks to a strong support group at home and school.

"It was a lot to deal with. I didn't think I'd be going to college, much less Notre Dame," Nix tells USA TODAY Sports. "Always thought about just having a job at Foot Locker, getting shoes on discount and having a high school diploma."

That plan began to evolve once Nix gained attention at Raines High School. By the start of his junior year, he says he had 14 scholarship offers from major-college programs. Ultimately, he decided to leave Florida for South Bend, Ind., where he became known for an on-field motor uncommon for such a big man.