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NFL Draft Diamonds Prospect Interview: Mandell Ray, DB, Morehouse

Mandell Ray recently interviewed with NFL Draft Diamonds

  • Name: Mandell Ray
  • Height: 6’ 4”
  • Weight: 200
  • Position: DB
  • College: Morehouse 
  • Twitter: @amyray45

Tell us about your hometown, and what you love most about it?

  • Lafayette, AL “The Twelve”. What I like most is that we are all family. To me family is everything, family helps build you, mold you, and support you. That’s was Lafayette is.

List these three in order of importance and why: Film Study, Strength and Conditioning and Practice?

  • 1) Film Study: You learn traits and habits from your opponent as well as mistakes from myself to correct by watching film. 2) Practice—practice makes perfect, the more I practice, the more I can dominate on game day, and it keeps me in shape. 3) strength and conditioning- S& C is very important but in this question, if you don’t have film study or practice, you can’t get any better, you’re just playing off talent. That only gets you so far.

What do you worry about, and why?

  • Letting my mother down. Not being able to be the person she needs me to be.

Give me an example of when you failed at something. How did you react and how did you overcome failure?

  • I failed myself when I didn’t pass my freshman philosophy class. That was the first time I hadn’t passed a class since elementary. I was mad at my professor at first, but then I realized I was to blame. So I took the class again, signed up for extra study sessions, and led group activities to be more involved with the work. The second time around I got an A.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

  • My positivity and confidence.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

  • Desmond Reese, he’s in the CFL now

What would your career be if you couldn’t play football? 

  • Sports Journalism.

Room, desk, and car – which do you clean first?

  • Room.

If there was a disaster and you could either save three strangers or one family member, which would you choose and why?

  • I would die trying to save them all.

If you could be any television or movie character, who would you be and why?

  • Movie: Bobby Boucher- Waterboy, growing up my grandma loved the way he hit people on the field. That made me love defense. 

Tell me about your biggest adversity in life and how you’ve dealt with or overcome it?

  • In the 5th grade my family and I were homeless. But we stayed together to get through it. Now, at this point, my mom has a good job, me and my younger siblings are all in college getting ready to graduate and I’m getting ready to make my dreams come true with a opportunity in the NFL. That situation taught me to never give up. 

What is your most embarrassing moment?

  • Running out on kickoff without my helmet on.

What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?

  • Against Benedict—we’re up 14-10, 4th qtr, and I run into the punter to keep them alive. Three plays later I picked the ball off in the end zone. Game over.

What song best describes your work ethic?

  • Michael Phelps- by Lil Wayne

What is the most important trait you can have (Physical or Non-Physical) to help you succeed at the next level? 

  • The ability to process, apply, and study information quickly

If you could bring one person back from the dead for one day, who would it be and why?

  • My cousin Shoraski Holloway. I lost him too soon when I was 15, we where close.

If you were to open a dance club, what would you name it? 

  • Deja Vu

Who is the most overrated player in the NFL? 

  • There are players that are better than others —but I believe if you’re a professional, you’re a professional for a reason.

Would you rather be liked or respected, and why?

  • Respected. Why, because you don’t have to like me but I will earn your respect.

What player who had his career derailed by off-field issues do you feel for the most and why?

  • Jamarcus Russell, because it seemed as if he just had no support to help get out of his own way and get better. Knowing how important family is to me, I just wish he could have got help sooner. 

Do you love to win, or hate to lose?

  • Hate to lose

Who has been the biggest influence on your life and explain why?

  • My mother. She should me the value of hard work, always believing in good. She taught me why it’s important to dream, but then go work for it and make it happen.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at [email protected]

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