When No. 52 bounded onto the field, energy rose to palpable levels. The "Squirrel Dance" drew everyone's attention, and from the moment the opening kickoff sailed into the air, longtime Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis was in charge.
Lewis dominated pro football for 17 seasons and made 13 Pro Bowls -- The years he didn't were his rookie and final seasons, then 2002 and 2005 when he missed half those years with injury. He was a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 10-time All-Pro selection, and two-time Super Bowl champion with a Super Bowl MVP award on his mantle. Only one player in NFL history is credited with at least 40 sacks and 30 interceptions in his career: Ray Lewis.
Before joining the Baltimore Ravens as the 26th overall pick of the 1996 NFL Draft (B-More also selected Pro Football Hall of Fame tackle Jonathan Ogden fourth overall that year.), Raymond Anthony Lewis Jr. earned All-American honors all three seasons he played for the Miami Hurricanes. Though he isn't in the College Football Hall of Fame, it'll be impossible to keep 394 tackles in three years and the leader of a top-ranked defense out forever.
Until then, we'll be treated to even more Lewis DNA in college football. Two of Ray's sons are headed to the hotbed of college football and the Southeastern Conference for the 2020 season.
Ray Lewis' Sons Transfer to Kentucky Wildcats
Rayshad Lewis was First-Team All-State at Bishop Moore High School in Orlando, Florida. Rated as a two-star cornerback by 247Sports, Lewis originally headed to Utah State where he transitioned to play wide receiver. He appeared in 12 games and made seven starts as a true freshman in 2016, then transferred to the University of Maryland Terrapins the following year.
Playing primarily in a special teams capacity the last two years, Lewis should contribute similarly for head coach Mark Stoops and the Kentucky Wildcats. He's expected to be immediately eligible for the 2020 season as UK chases an SEC title, but the redshirt senior won't be alone.
God?s Plan???? @BBN_Nation @UKFootball pic.twitter.com/8gKVsQLaZo
— Saan? (@RahsaanL) August 6, 2020
Rahsaan Lewis has had a wild ride so far. In high school, Rahsaan only played one season of football as a senior, helping the Windermere Prep football team reach the state championship game. The standout basketball player averaged 18.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 4.0 steals per game his senior year before deciding football was his path.
As a 6-foot cornerback, Lewis earned preferred walk-on status with the University of Central Florida Knights in 2018 and appeared in eight games as a true freshman for UCF. He then transferred to Florida Atlantic and played for Lane Kiffin's FAU Owls in 2019, but he saw limited action and was redshirted.
Rahsaan is joining his older brother at Kentucky in 2020, though he'll need to successfully obtain a waiver from the NCAA in order to be immediately eligible, given this is his third school in three years.
Think the Lewis DNA stopped there? Think again.
Ray's Oldest Son, Ray Lewis III
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Ray III, Rayshad and Rahsaan are the sons of Tatyana McCall; The NFL legend has six children in total with four different women. Ray and Tatyana met while attending the University of Miami, and they passed their love of Hurricane football to their oldest child.
Ray Lewis III was a three-star running back recruit coming out of high school. The 2013 Semper Fidelis All-American scored 24 touchdowns as a senior, then kept family tradition alive and joined the Miami Hurricanes; He was redshirted as a true freshman and did not see action the following year. Lewis III moved to cornerback, transferred to Coastal Carolina University, and appeared in five games during the 2015 campaign before trouble began.
In January 2016, Lewis III was accused of sexual assault, though charges were ultimately dropped due to "numerous discrepancies in the allegations." McCall defended her son, citing he was "targeted and falsely accused by opportunists," according to her written statement after Ray III was cleared (via Orlando Sentinel).
He played his last seasons of college football at Virginia Union University.
The Lewis clan is rounded out by daughter Kaitlin and son Ralin, the latter of whom played defensive back and recently graduated from Wootton High School in Rockville, Maryland. Ray's oldest daughter, Diaymon Lewis, introduced the Ravens legend at his Hall of Fame induction.
The Lewis name is alive and well, and as long as the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 outbreak are under control, you can be certain their will be a lot of pride (and probably dancing) seeing his two boys together with the Kentucky football program in Lexington.
MORE: Ray Lewis' Legacy Haunted By Unsolved Double-Murder
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