Running Back - Baltimore
Copywriter, T. Scharfenberg | Photographer, J. Fischer
Building His Legacy
Growing up in a four-child, single-parent household gave Ray Rice his lifelong goal: Work hard to be successful, and then give back to those who grew up like he did. Since making it big, this two-time Pro Bowler hasn't stopped pushing his game. "Obviously in sports, as in life, you've got to put your best foot forward. I believe that hard work pays off. What you put in is what you're going to get out."
All of that hard work has paid off not only for Ray's family, but for many others' families as well. And to him, that's even more important. Ray hosts youth football camps, looking to make an impact on young athletes who are fighting the tough circumstances he's so familiar with. It's his strong belief that as a professional athlete, it's just as much his job to give back as it is to make plays. He told Eastbay he's felt like an underdog his whole life, like no one thought he could make it. To counteract that, he strives to be perfect both on and off the field.
"When people mention me, not only will they say he played the game the right way, they'll say that he was an even better person. The Hall of Fame is everybody's goal. But it's a more charming legacy when a kid comes up to you and says you are a role model. That's the kind of legacy I want to keep building on. If I can do that, I've done my job in the NFL."
Ray would've never had this influence had he not risen to all-star status, thanks to his incredible agility as a running back. Supporting him along the way is the Lunar Superbad Pro. "As a running back, I've got to have a light mid cleat. I've got to have ankle support, preferably with an ankle strap. The Superbads have been very good to me. I've scored a lot of touchdowns in them." What's special about this cleat? "My thing is I do a lot of lateral movement. I do a lot of lateral jumping, cutting and shifting. If that ankle isn't locked in there, we all know what happens. I don't have any wood to knock on, but I like my ankles to be secure."
Ray pairs his Superbad cleats with the Superbad gloves as well. "The gloves had some padding over the fingers. When I strapped that thing on, it was time to put on a show. I like to have protection over my fingers, especially when I'm blocking. It had a little padding and grip on it."
Because of this gear and an amazing skill set, Ray has a very special career. It feels surreal to him, but he is very clear on how athletes can get where he is: "Believe it or not, if you play football, you're not too far from where I am in life. You go off to college and in a couple more years, the real world is waiting for you. To get where I am, to even be on the cover of Eastbay, I had to take care of what I had to take care of in school. So take care of what you have to take care of in school first. There's a reason why I'm sitting here today. I'm not the biggest of guys and it shows, but I put in some work and it landed me the cover of Eastbay."
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