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What's Up Magazine

Ravens’ Running Back Ray Rice

Dec 08, 2010 10:37PM ● By Anonymous

Rice may have been drawn to Lewis because Rice lost his father, and another father figure, at an early age.

What’s Up?:
It seems like people tagged you as too short for pro football. How did you dispel those concerns?

Ray Rice: The height stuff. You make a few plays and they don’t talk about it anymore. I was told I couldn’t catch the ball coming out of college. I was too small and not fast enough. You make a few big plays and they say you are a player.

WU: How has playing against future Hall of Famer Lewis in practice helped you?

RR: Ray Lewis has been a mentor, a brother to me, and more than anything, a leader. I’m on the offensive side, but if you watch the guy, the way he plays the game, and if you just take a little bit of what he does, and the way he does it, how can you not be successful? I feel if I can make a play on Ray Lewis, I can make a play on any linebacker. It gives me an edge. It’s confidence.

WU: Baltimore is Lewis’ team. Did you seek him out when you joined the Ravens?

RR: He was definitely a guy I sought out. I think it was a bond. I wanted to be part of his life in some kind of way. I feel he has so much wisdom. I feel if I didn’t get to know Ray Lewis while he was playing the game, I would lose out on a lot of things.

WU: What did you think of being named to the Pro Bowl?

The Pro Bowl is great, but who wouldn’t want to play in the other bowl? It’s good to go to the Pro Bowl and be involved in it. It’s a high honor to be respected by the league, your peers and the fans. But the big goal is the Super Bowl.

WU: You came off the bench as a rookie. Were you determined to be a much bigger contributor last season?

It was my big off-season goal. I just didn’t want to be a third-down back. I just wanted to show that I am an every-down back and I can be really good at it for years to come. I learned when you put your mind toward something and set goals, you really can go out there and achieve it.

WU: How do you relax after a game? What’s your routine?

RR: If my family is in town, I usually just go to eat. I reflect on whether we won or lost. I try to find ways to relax so I can look forward to the next game. I definitely listen to music. It relaxes me. I watch a movie. You do the little things to relax after a game.

WU: Do you enjoy going out into the community and talking to kids?

RR: I visit a lot of schools during the season and when I am home in New York. I share my story. Not everybody is fortunate enough to make it to the NFL. I help kids prepare for life. Whether its football, being a doctor or a lawyer. I believe in chasing your dream. Right now, I am living my dream. Football is my outreach. If I didn’t take care of school and other things, my dream would have been a nightmare.

What do you do for fun when you are not playing football?

RR: I play a lot of video games. I like to go to the movies. I like to hang out with my boys and my family. I definitely like to explore the city of Baltimore and get to know the people of Baltimore, the people who support you. I have a chance to go to a lot of different events. I like the Inner Harbor and the aquarium.

WU: What do you see yourself doing after football?

RR: I want to be a high school coach. You can watch boys grow into men. It’s a longer relationship than college. I am close with all my coaches, but the coach I am closest to is my high school coach. That relationship you have is one in a million.

WU: What causes do you believe in?

RR: I definitely do a lot of work with kids, troubled kids, and cancer patients. I am actually in the process of getting a foundation going. I am leaning more toward cancer research with young adults and adults. I have an aunt with cancer and my family has a past with cancer. It’s one of those things where you want to find out more about it and how you can help.

Your father, Conrad Reed, died when you were one year old. Your cousin Myshaun Rice-Nichols died when you were eight. How did you cope?

RR: I give my mom credit because not only did she raise me, but she had to be a mother and father at the same time. It’s one of those things where I know moms could only do so much. So I had to build my life around father-type figures. But I give her a lot of credit. There are four of us and one of her. Being the oldest, I had to be the one that set the example. I lost my father and cousin when I was young. It was a lot for mom.