Baltimore has always had an affinity for the underdog. We embrace the lunch pail guys – players who get the most out of relatively limited physical skills, constantly delivering maximum effort and eventually exceeding expectations.
Players like Kelly Gregg and Jim Leonhard come to mind.
Last season, a player who during training camp was often referred to as “a poor man’s Ray Rice”, Bobby Rainey became a fan favorite. While Rice backups Anthony Allen and Damien Berry struggled to make an impact, Rainey flourished and tapped into Baltimore’s underdog affinity.
And while Rainey may still attract some attention again this training camp, it appears that this summer’s favorite underdog will be Louisiana Tech undrafted free agent Ray Holley.
The 5’8”, 194 pound running back is a second team All-WAC selection and he was named to the Capital One Academic All-America First Team, just the second such Bulldog from Louisiana Tech.
Count Hall of Fame scouting guru Gil Brandt among those impressed.
“He ran 4.57 and 4.56 in the 40-yard dash and recorded a 37.5 inch vertical jump and a 9-foot-11 broad jump. He finished the short shuttle in 4.15 and the three-cone drill in 6.85. He recorded 27 strength lifts, which is unheard of because of his size. Holley is a guy that is small, but really quick and strong. He catches the ball well.”
When I look at the video highlights of Holley, it’s hard not to immediately think of Danny Woodhead, a player kicked to the curb by Rex Ryan and the Jets. He’s haunted them ever since as a member of the New England Patriots.
Count me among those rooting for this long shot and hoping he fulfills a Woodhead-like role for the Ravens.
Here’s to the other little Ray…