Ray Lewis let go of his final year of college to enter the NFL (National Football League) in 1996. This young boy then was underestimated by many scouts, as he was too small to play linebacker for the NFL draft, but he proved all of them wrong and rose as one of the strongest players of the team. Get to know more facts about Ray Lewis’ life in this article. Keep reading.
Some people are sorted about what they want from life and they make sure they harness every opportunity life gives them to make it big in life. Such people are definitely admired and set an example for the rest. Ray Anthony Lewis one such admired person. Who knew this small guy from a small city of Florida would make it so big in life. At present, according to the official site of NFL, Ray Lewis is rated the #18th best NFL player of all time.
Ray Lewis was born in a small city of Florida called Lakeland. He completed his schooling from Kathleen High School and attended college at the University of Miami. He played American football during his school days and was a part of the All-American Troop, which is an association that includes outstanding, but amateur players. When in college, during the final year, Ray decided to forgo his college eligibility to play the NFL draft 1996. He was selected by the Baltimore Ravens (NFL team) in the very first round. Lately, in the year 2004, Ray earned his Degree in Arts and Science from the University of Maryland.
|Quick Facts about Ray Lewis’ Life|
|Full Name||Ray Anthony Lewis|
|Nick Name||Ray Ray|
|Date of Birth||15th May 1975|
|Place of Birth||Bartow, Florida|
|School||Kathleen High School, Lakeland in Polk County, Florida, United States|
|College||University of Miami, United States|
|Career||Debuted in 1996 for the Baltimore Ravens|
|Current Team||Baltimore, AFC (American Football Conference) North Team|
|Ranking||18th Best Player|
Lewis made his debut in the game of American football in the year 1996 with the Baltimore Ravens. He was the fifth linebacker selected to play for the team. At the age of 21 he played with players who had already established themselves in the game. Therefore, many reconnoiters considered this boy too small to play for the linebacker position. But proving all of them wrong, Ray stood up as one of the strongest players of the team. His 15 tackles for loss, 6 deflections and 2.5 sacks earned him All-Rookie Team honors by a leading newspaper of USA. Then there was no looking back, for three consecutive years after 1996 he earned his ‘pro bowl’ berth after the end of each season.
In 2000, he won the Super Bowl and was conferred the best defensive player of the year, that led the team ‘Ravens’. The year 2002 saw him play only 5 games due to his injured shoulder. After having won the pro bowl for 5 consecutive years (1997-2001), the trend was put to an end during the 2002 season, which was mainly due to the injury he had suffered. Ray was back in form in the 2003 season and it was a treat to watch this champion play. Many newspaper, magazines and sport shows started to feature Ray and wrote about his success story.
After the injury Ray suffered in the 2005 season, the year 2006 saw him all charged up for the game, leading the Ravens defense to an NFL best ranking in the defensive category. Although the year 2007 didn’t really prove to be a good one for the Ravens, in 2008 Lewis led the team to the AFC (American Football Conference) championship. In 2010, Lewis career totals were 1451 tackles, 109 passes defended, 30 interceptions and 38.5 sacks in just 210 games.
Achievements and Accolades
|1997||Pro Bowl Selection|
|1998||Pro Bowl Selection|
|1999||Pro Bowl Selection, NFL Alumni Linebacker Of The Year|
|2000||Pro Bowl Selection, Super Bowl XXXV MVP (Most Valuable Player), AFC Defensive Player Of The Year|
|2001||Pro Bowl Selection, AFC Defensive Player Of The Year|
|2003||Pro Bowl Selection, AFC Defensive Player Of The Year, NFL Alumni Linebacker Of The Year|
|2004||Pro Bowl Selection, Madden NFL Cover Athlete (Madden ’05)|
|2005||Pro Bowl Selection|
|2006||Pro Bowl Selection, ‘Act of Kindness’ for the charitable work, his life story was featured as a cover story in the America’s very famous sports magazine, ‘Sports Illustrated’.|
|2007||Pro Bowl Selection|
|2008||Pro Bowl Selection|
|2009||Pro Bowl Selection|
|2010||Pro Bowl Selection|
|✰ In the year 2011, Lewis became the first player with at least 40 sacks and 30 interceptions in the history of NFL.|
|✰ A part of Baltimore’s North Avenue was renamed as ‘Ray Lewis Way’ in honor of the linebacker.|
|✰ Endorsed various brands like NFL Network, Reebok, Old Spice and Eastern Motors by appearing in their ads.|
Ray Lewis has also been actively involved in lot of charitable activities, along with conquering the pinnacle of the game! In fact, he started the Ray Lewis 52 Foundation, that helps in providing personal and economic assistance to disadvantaged youth.