Created on: December 31, 2012 Last Updated: February 04, 2013
For fans of any National Football League (NFL) team, there is a term that will be heard used often by coaches and television announcers alike. Those words are "character guys," which in general terms are players that do things the right way, both on and off of the field. When one looks at the Baltimore Ravens, Ray Lewis would probably be the first player to come to mind. However, there is no better example of a character guy than that of Ray Rice.
Ray Rice was born Jan. 22, 1987, in New Rochelle, New York. There are many who say character is forged in the face of tragedy and adversity. If that is the case, Rice knows all too well about these two terms. When Rice was but one year old, his father was killed in a drive by shooting, robbing him of part of his childhood quickly. His mother had four kids to raise on a single salary, so she needed help. Rice was raised by a cousin who mentored him until he died at the hands of a drunk driver when Ray was only 11 years old.
These were two crushing blows for Rice, but he persevered through the pain. He turned to football as an outlet, attending New Rochelle High School and playing a variety of positions. He was a three-year starter, splitting time as a sophomore and junior, though he was the team's primary running back. What is remarkable about Rice is that he was versatile. He played not only running back, but also safety, kicker, and kick returner. He was the model for the do it all player.
Rice was the man his senior year in high school. He ran for 1,322 yards and 11 touchdowns while catching five others and converting 30 extra points. Unlike his junior year, when his team won the state championship, Rice's squad was beaten in the title game his senior season. Rice had shown some great things though, which looked to earn him a scholarship to Syracuse University. Ah, but adversity found him again as the coach that recruited him was fired. It did not sit well with Rice, so he changed directions and attended Rutgers University.
It turned out to be the right decision for the powerful, 5 foot 8 Rice. He would play only three seasons with the Scarlet Knights, but in that time he turned a program around. He became the starter during his freshman season at Rutgers, amassing 1,120 yards and five touchdowns. That production gave the school their first winning season in 25 years. Rice would get better as his college career progressed. His sophomore campaign found Rice gaining 1,794 yards while scoring 20
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NFL player profiles: Ray Rice