NFL prospect Ray Davis opens up on his incredible journey from homelessness to the NFL Draft… after becoming a star running back at Kentucky to make it as ‘the 1 percent’

NFL prospect Ray Davis has described himself as ‘the 1 percent’ after surviving homelessness to put himself on the cusp of his football dream.

Davis, who starred at Kentucky last season, grew up in foster care in San Francisco, as his parents reportedly went in and out of prison.

But after a hugely productive 2023 season, in which he racked up 1,129 rushing yards and 21 total touchdowns, Davis is expected to be drafted later this month.

‘Statistically, I’m the 1 percent who made it out of the situation I was unfortunately in, but I made it,’ he said at the NFL Draft Combine.

‘I’m not doing this for me. I’m doing it for a lot of other kids who are in that situation, if not a worse situation. To know that I can provide a platform and be a speaker for those kids who don’t have it, that’s the reason I keep going every day, that’s the reason I keep fighting.’

According to The Athletic, he entered foster care at age eight and was living in a homeless shelter at 12.

Ray Davis told reporters at February’s NFL Combine of his journey from homelessness

He starred at Kentucky last season, racking up 1,129 rushing yards and 21 total touchdowns

He starred at Kentucky last season, racking up 1,129 rushing yards and 21 total touchdowns

‘The system was against me, and everybody told me I couldn’t make it,’ he added to reporters from the Draft Combine in February. ‘When they look back 10, 20 years from now, and they gotta look me in the face again someday – I want them to say ‘I’m sorry.” 

He was later taken in by his former teachers, Ben and Alexa Klaus, for three years, while the mother of an ex-basketball teammate of his later became his temporary guardian.

With his father released from prison around the same time, he regained custody of Ray – allowing the teen to be sent across the country to the Trinity-Pawling boarding school in New York.

There, Davis established himself as a star athlete, but playing in college was not yet straightforward as he was still short one credit of collegiate eligibility after graduating, according to The Athletic.

Ray Davis

Ray Davis

Davis, seen at the NFL Combine, is projected as a mid-round draft pick later this month

So after again impressing at Blair Academy in New Jersey during a prep year, he began a college journey that spanned Temple, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

Davis concluded his college career with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, and is now projected as a ‘good backup with starter potential’ by

‘I want to be known as somebody who continued to fight, who tried to defeat the system, who bet on himself, who against all odds didn’t fold, didn’t crack under pressure and he attacked it head on,’ he said. ‘That’s how I attack life.’

The NFL Draft begins on April 25.

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