Ray Lewis Jr carrying the ball, from Lake Mary Prep, Florida (2013 class)
In a world that is based on preconceived notions, assumptions are made as things need to be a certain way. The way we look, dress, or are preceived all the time can make a huge impact on how successful we are. However, the path or road a person goes down is each their own, and for the most part we can all create our own destiny. This couldn't be more apparent with Miami Hurricane (Class of 2013) verbal commit Ray Lewis Jr.
Many people compare the young prep star to his father, future Hall of Fame Linebacker Ray Lewis, currently playing for the Baltimore Ravens. I think most of the people expect him to flourish, and sort of "live up to" these expectations put in place. There is no doubt that young Ray Lewis Jr has talent, but to be mentioned or compared to his father is unrealistic for many reasons. For one, Ray Lewis Jr and his father play in different eras, two, Ray Jr is a Running Back and Sr plays linebacker. The Bottom line is Ray Lewis Jr is his own individual, with a ton of promise in his future. He stands at 5'10", 195 lbs, and is considered one of the top Running Backs in the state of Florida. Ray attends Lake Mary Prep School, in Lake Mary, Florida, and is putting up dynamic numbers. He racked up over 2,300 yards in just 177 carries, and 29 TD's rushing. That is an average of 13.1 ypc, and also collected 4 TD's receiving. Ray also had a game in his sophomore campaign in which he tallied 504 all-purpose yards. Truly great numbers from a prospect wanting to make his own path to success.
There can be a ton of pressure as we all know trying to live up to a parents success, everyday illusions are created of people, but Ray Lewis Jr has his goals set high. When asked his goals and what he'd like to prove in college, Ray replied;
"I want to prove to colleges that you have to be this perfect size athlete that everyone looks for these days. You dont have to run a 4.2 or 4.3, you don't have to be able to bench 225, 35 times or have a 40 inch vertical, but if you have the work ethic to push yourself to the limit and then some with the desire to not let anybody outwork you, you can be just as successful! With the correct knowledge, will to win and ability to listen and correct and keep jesus in your life i promise you will be ok!"
Which is a very realistic answer, size often gets thrown into the equation in football (Most Sports), but the determination of a persons work ethic and inner-drive of the heart can outweigh all obstacles with the correct focus. It's also tough to not get labeled considering many peers may think it's an easier path in you have a connection, so to speak. We asked Ray Lewis Jr what's the toughest part about being an NFL star's son?
" The toughest part about being an NFL star's son is just way you are portrayed by other kids. Many people don't even know me but "I" get judged based off my father's actions and kids dont even know me but are quick to form an opinion of how they "think" i am. Of course i get compared (Father) and people have expectations but none of that concerns me, every week i go out there and play a hard as I can, the next day i see what i can do to better myself everything else will fall in place where its supposed to."
Ray Lewis has been a great motivator for his son though, it helps to have a mentor to discuss the recruiting process with because Ray has been there. It's not just his father as well, Ray Jr's entire family has raised him with strong morals and values. Hard work is a key to success in everything, you get what you put in.
"My dad (Ray Lewis) has helped me but its not just my dad, its my entire family. The way i was raised made me into the person i am today not just my father. He obviously had a huge impact, but how i raised and what my parents instilled in me at a young age is what has made me successful so far. The advantage with my father is that he has already been through it so he knows exactly what it takes to make it and he shares that with me every workout and every day. Theres no such things as a break!"
Ray Lewis Jr is well on his way to being on the successful path, he will attend the University of Miami in 2013, and the Hurricanes are in for a treat. Ray has also played Quarterback, Safety, also a bit of Corner and Linebacker for Lake Mary Prep. He certainly has a major upside in years to come and when asked what he'd like to be remembered for, Ray replied--
"I want to be remembered as somebody who steps on the field and automatically has positive impact on my teammates. I want to make people better that play with me. I don't just want to be remembered by one of the best people to ever step on a football field but a person who brings a different attitude to the game and everybody could learn something from being around him."
As one of the best football movies ever made (Remember The Titans) once said, "Attitude reflects Leadership", Ray Lewis Jr possesses a solid outlook on both. Look for Ray Lewis Jr at The "U" in 2013 to make an instant impact.