Ray Lewis reveals Miami offered him a scholarship just 4 days before Signing Day

Talk about cutting it close.

Before former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis’ professional football career began, he made a name for himself as one of the most talented and lethal defenders at the University of Miami. During his three-year career in Coral Gables, he set the UM individual season record for tackles by a middle linebacker with 95, and he’s tied for second in career total tackles and assists with 160.

On Friday, the future Hall of Famer revealed the unique circumstances of his recruiting process with Miami. While speaking with Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd, Lewis said that he took visits to Auburn and Florida State. During his visit at FSU, the coaches told him he’d likely wait two years to start, sitting behind future Tampa Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks.

“I just did something very stupid. I stood up, I shook his hand and said ‘thank you, but no thank you,’ I said ‘how do you know I’m not better than Derrick Brooks right now?’”

Having blown his lone scholarship opportunity, his last shot came during his final high school game. Lewis’ team in Lakeland was playing wide receiver Jammi German’s — who Lewis says Miami coaches were in attendance to watch. Lewis said his team lost badly, but he played a great game.

“I remember falling on my knees and I cried because I didn’t know what my future was,” Lewis said of his emotions after the game.

Lewis then said he had to wait four days before Signing Day until Miami head coach Dennis Erickson, called to offer him a scholarship. Lewis’ high school coach says it was because of his final high school game.

“I was like ‘Coach, are you serious?’ And he was like ‘they saw you play your last high school game, and the way you played got you into college.’”

Lewis added that when his grandmother dropped him off for college, all he had was one pair of jeans, three white t-shirts, a pack of No. 2 pencils, and 20 dollars in food stamps.

Regardless if you’re a fan of Lewis or not, this story about getting his scholarship offer just four days before Signing Day is pretty cool, especially given what happened with his Florida State offer. Check out the full interview below.

Read more