I met with Ranier this past weekend in Durham,NC, and within five minutes I knew he had maturity well beyond his 24 years. Standing at 6’ and 200 lbs., Ranier has the heart and passion that will make him a force to be reckoned with on any NFL field. He’s laser-focused on his long-time dream to make it to the NFL as a running back.
After spending over two hours chatting with Ranier, I left the table amazed at this young man’s humble spirit and selfless devotion to his family. I believe he’s a cut above other NFL hopefuls in that he already knows who he is as a man so football doesn’t define his entire life. Read on to get a glimpse of this remarkable young man’s character.
Michelle: Ranier, you were undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft. What separates you from the thousands of other hopefuls as far as making it to the NFL as a free agent?
Ranier: First off, let me start by saying thanks again for the opportunity. God bless you. What separates me is my will power and determination to get the job done by any means necessary and my faith is like no other because I know that faith and hard work pays off.
Michelle: You’ve experienced some academic setbacks along the way. How have you used those setbacks to strengthen your determination to reach your goals?
Ranier: Yes, it’s been a tough journey for me but I know where and what I want to do in my life so I keep my alignment and focus strong. And I made a promise to myself that I will reach my destiny.
Michelle: Has a particular family member or coach inspired you to reach for the top?
Ranier: I can honestly say that my cousin, Leon Washington, has influenced my life in a major way and not just in the game of football but in the game of life.
Michelle: You faced an unexpected dismissal from the Georgia MilitaryAcademy and at the same time you came home for your mother to help her out while she was sick. As a result, you spent two years away from football to help support your family. How did you refocus yourself to get back in the game?
Ranier: Yes, the situation with GMA was a lesson learned – it taught me and it made me the strong man that I am today. I also knew I had to come back home to take care of my mom and make sure everything was in order at home while she was in and out of the hospital. In life, we only have one mother and in the Bible it says, “…Honor thy mother and father…” so I did that and never turned back from it. You can always go back to school or play sports but I don’t know what I would’ve done if I lost my mom so it was a privilege to make that sacrifice.
Michelle: You’ve experienced some loss in your life, even as recently as last week. How have the losses affected you and how can you utilize them so they make a positive impression on your life?
Ranier: Yeah, I’ve lost five people in the past month so it’s been really hard to deal with but like I said before, I know my faith. If I give up now, I’m not only letting myself down, I’m letting my family down. It’s not about me anymore – I carry my family on my back but I always tell them, “I can’t save the world but I can try to change it.”
Michelle: Why do you want to make it to the NFL?
Ranier: Every kid’s ultimate goal that grows up playing football is to make it to the NFL someday. I stuck with that ever since I was playing Pop Warner football in Jacksonville,FL for the Westside Panthers and Sweetwater Eagles.
Michelle: If you make it to the NFL, what building blocks have you put in place that will prevent you from becoming a statistic of bad choices and bad press?
Ranier: First, my intention is to show the world that there’s more to me than just being a football player. But my main purpose is to show youth that there are more outlets in the world other than the streets–selling drugs, robbing, etc.
I also want to start a program for kids called, Across The Bridge because there were a lot of kids that were raised up in my neighborhood that never went across the bridge to see what life looks like with the finer things. I want to demonstrate to them that they can achieve those things without selling drugs because kids are our future and they most definitely need guidance.
Michelle: What is the best advice your agent has passed along to you?
Ranier: Just to stay focused and continue to have faith in God. Travis Bell tells me not to worry because he is committed to do whatever it takes to get me on a team.
Michelle: You’ve been training with your cousin, Leon Washington, RB for the Seahawks. Describe your training regimen and explain how Leon has set an example for you to keep going, even when you feel like quitting.
Ranier: Wow, yeah…where do I start? This experience with Leon has been so humbling and we’ve really been out there putting in work and not just going through the motions. Basically, we lift and run almost five days a week and we also do a lot of field activity such as ropes, cone drills metabolic and dynamic workouts. And there’s never been a time when I wanted to stop because our workouts were too intense. As the workouts continue, I get more and more into them.
Michelle: How has the lockout affected your goals and living situation and when it’s over, what are your immediate plans to position yourself for a spot on a team?
Ranier: It has affected me in the sense that the odds are against me because it’s harder going to the NFL or any professional field without a me attitude. Honestly, if my faith wasn’t this strong I wouldn’t be here today. And as soon as I hit the NFL, I’m off and running 1000 times harder than before. I’m like a diamond in the rough, ready to bust out on the scene.
You’ll want to remember that name, Ranier Rackley. This dynamic and extraordinary young man captured my attention with his heart and enthusiasm. No matter what he does in life, I have no doubt that Ranier will leave a legacy of strong faith, dedication to family, and excellence on and off the field.