Question and answer with Ray Agnew

Question and answer with Ray Agnew

By Tony McDaniel

Not many people get to live out their dreams, but a former Saluki fullback is doing it.

Ray Agnew left the Saluki football team in 2013, his next stop was one many wouldn’t have guessed. Agnew signed with the Cleveland Browns and made the final roster as the team’s only fullback. The Daily Egyptian got the chance to ask Agnew a few questions.

DE: How did your time at SIU help you get to the NFL?


Agnew: It helped me, based off the coaching I was given. My position coach, who is no longer there anymore, Jim Jackson, prepared me for this level. The way the coaches and the players carried themselves, I think that helped me adjust to this level.

DE: How special was it to play at SIU with your brother, Malcolm Agnew?

Agnew: That was great. You can’t write a better script than that in Hollywood. We’ve been on the same team before, but not been able to play with each other, until last year. That’s something that you can’t take for granted. It’s something you don’t get to do everyday. It was special.

DE: After your senior season did you think an NFL team would give you a call?

Agnew: Yeah, I did. I was confident in myself.

DE: When you got the phone call from the Browns, what went through your head?

Agnew: A lot of things. Happiness, joy and excitement, I was ready to take on the challenge of making the team and making my dreams come true. I was overwhelmed with joy.


DE: What was the first day of NFL camp like?

Agnew: The first day of camp was probably my worst day of camp. I didn’t know what I was doing half the time. I was just trying to run around and play fast and do the best I could, but I was messing up left and right. It got a lot better as camp went on.

DE: What was the hardest part about making the jump from the Football Championship Subdivision to the NFL?

Agnew: Learning how to react to different situations. In college, defenses don’t move as much, you don’t have to read as much. Up here there’s a lot of moving parts, every play, on every defense.

DE: Was there a moment when you realized you’d made it to the NFL?

Agnew: Around the second or third day of camp I just took a step back and I looked around and I realized I’m in an NFL training camp. I got that feeling again in the first preseason game and again in the first game against the [Pittsburgh] Steelers.

DE: What was that first game against Pittsburgh like?

Agnew: It was a lot of fun. I thought it was a good way to test myself, playing the Steelers first game with the physical defense they have. It was a dream come true, I felt like I was dreaming the whole game. I kind of had to pinch myself a little bit a couple of times.

DE: You’re teammates with Johnny Manziel, what is he actually like?

Agnew: He’s just about his business. He’s actually kind of a quiet guy, he kind of keeps to himself. He studies hard, he stays after and watches extra film and he gets here early. He puts in a lot of work, that’s what a lot of people don’t see.

DE: How closely are you able to follow SIU football?

Agnew: I haven’t been able to watch but I’ve been able to listen to a couple of them. A lot of times when SIU is playing we’re in the hotel or in between meetings so I’ll put my headphones on and listen to it on my phone, on the radio, whenever I can.

DE: What do you think of Malcolm’s season?

Agnew: I’m very proud of him, he’s put in a lot of hard work to overcome injuries in his career. It’s special to see him having the season that he’s having because I know that’s what he’s always been capable of and he knows it too. If any body is shocked or surprised they shouldn’t be.

DE: Your father played in the NFL, you’re in the NFL and your brother is a really good running back in the FCS. What is it with the Agnew bloodline?

Agnew: You’ve got to go back to my grandfather, Ray Agnew Sr. He didn’t play college or NFL ball, but it had to start with him. He put something in my dad’s food or something and he passed it down to us.

DE: Your Twitter handle is @underrated_FB, do you still feel that way about yourself?

Agnew: Yeah I do. I don’t see myself changing that anytime soon. I’ve been underrated my whole life so I plan on keeping it.