Now that Ray Lewis has danced his last dance and finished his career, he is turning his attention to his kids. One of his kids, Ray Lewis III, will be playing his freshman year of football at the University of Miami, his father’s alma mater.
Lewis III gave me the great opportunity to interview him this past week.
Joe Wedra: If one day you became a Baltimore Raven, would you dance out of the tunnel like your Dad? Why or why not?
Ray Lewis III: It would have to be something that just came in the moment.
JW: You were listed as an “athlete” by most sites. What position do you think you will play in college and the NFL?
RLIII: I’ve talked to Miami about playing defensive back, slot receiver, and running back.
JW: What player in that position will you try to play like throughout college and why?
RLIII: I don’t really model my game after anybody honestly… My favorite player is Devin Hester, but that’s about it.
JW: How has being the son of an NFL player shaped your vision for your own future?
RLIII: Doesn’t affect me at all. The only thing I’ve gotten from that is the fact that he knows what it takes to be the best, and that’s an advantage I have over other athletes.
JW: Knowing he inspires so many people, what is the most inspiring message your dad has delivered to you?
RLIII: About being a leader, he always tells me to encourage my teammates — no matter what the situation is.
JW: Besides your parents being alumni, what did you like about the University of Miami?
RLIII: The environment, the swag they have about them, the brotherhood and pact that is formed there, and simply the fact that the coaches make me feel like I’m talking to a friend versus a coach.
JW: What do you think got you to the point you are at today? Was it your high school success, or something else?
RLIII: The fact that I take in what everybody has to say… not personal but to make myself better. Whether it’s encouragement, constructive criticism and even jealousy, it all makes me a better person and player because I know what to work on! On top of that, many people tell me I’m too small, too slow, not going to be able to adapt to ACC football and my answer to them is the fact that I won’t let anybody outwork me. As we know, my dad was in the same situation entering and leaving college.
JW: As a football player, what is your greatest strength? What do you feel like you could improve most?
RLIII: I feel like my greatest strength is my intelligence of the game, and my refusal to be outworked. Things I could work on I feel like is becoming a combine junky [LOL]. My numbers have never been eye-popping, but when I’m on that field, a football player is a football player.
JW: How do you take care of yourself during the offseason? Do you work out a lot with your Dad?
RLIII: I work out a lot with my dad… I have a house right outside of Miami that I will train at with him on the beach, and also training with my football coaches, Buck Gurley and Mike McClenton.
JW: In your opinion, what is the biggest difference between yourself and your father?
RLIII: The biggest difference between us is our backgrounds. We have so much in common, but he didn’t have a Hall of Fame father in the NFL to give him the blueprint. I feel like I matured quicker because he was forced to figure everything out on his own.
JW: Among the current Raven players that you have met, who has been particularly kind to you?
RLIII: All of them are great, and they know a lot about me and show me love. Two that stand out would have to be Ray Rice and Ed Reed, just because I’ve actually spent time with both of them off the field.
JW: What is the University of Miami getting from Ray Lewis III?
RLIII: The University of Miami is getting somebody who knows what he wants, knows exactly what he wants to do in life, someone that is looking forward to joining a football family at the university and somebody who will always do more than what’s asked of him to excel. And somebody that believes in the University of Miami just as the supporters do.