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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – One of the newest members of the Miami Dolphins received a special honor on Thursday.
Frank Gore decided to forego retirement for at least one more year, instead choosing to sign with his hometown Dolphins as a free agent.
It a homecoming that means a lot to Gore.
What could be a Hall of Fame career has come full circle and Gore realizes he has not scored all those touchdowns by himself.
“This person really symbolizes the very soul of our city,” said Miami mayor Francis Suarez.
Gore received a huge pat on the back from a mayor who was proud to point to him as a success story.
“He’s a product of our city, a product of the West Grove, where so many families for so many generations have grown up together,” Suarez said.
The West Grove is just a few miles from Miami City Hall but it is world’s apart.
So right after getting his key to the city, the soft spoken Gore prompted his posse to stand.
“The reason why I wanted them to stand up was because, just going back to all the hard times that we went through when I was a kid, staying in a one bedroom apartment with twelve people,” Gore explained.
Gore’s star first rose at Coral Gables High School where he ran to daylight even while telegraphing his moves.
“When he used to line up before the hike, he would hit his pads, clap his hands and point to the hole he was going to,” said City of Miami Commissioner Keon Hardemon.
From there, it was on to the University of Miami where Gore bounced back from two serious knee injuries.
Gore’s mom cried when he reached the NFL.
She passed away two years into his career, but Gore has kept running for 14 seasons.
Five years ago, his family in the Grove cheered wildly as he reached the Super Bowl with San Francisco.
Now, Gore will be wearing the familiar aqua and orange of the Miami Dolphins.
“I’m happy to be on the Dolphins,” he said with a smile. “I don’t know how many years I’ve got left but I’m happy I’m back home.”
Gore says he likes Dolphins coach Adam Gase and he loves the idea of finishing his career where it all started.
“Getting an opportunity to play in front of my family, a lot of my fans since I was a kid, my high school fans, my college fans; I’m happy.”
Gore will be 35 years old when the new football season begins.
When he lines up for the Fins at Hard Rock Stadium, Gore might be shaking his head in disbelief.
CBS Miami’s David Dwork contributed to this report.