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Did Ray Ray McElrathbey from 'Safety' play in the NFL?

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic - Clemson v Notre Dame
College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic - Clemson v Notre Dame
Amaar Burton
Modified 24 Dec 2020, 15:16 IST

On Dec. 11, Walt Disney Pictures released Safety, a movie based on the true life story of former Clemson University football player Ramon "Ray Ray" McElrathbey.

During his redshirt freshman season for the Tigers in 2006, Ray Ray McElrathbey assumed custody of his 11-year-old brother Fahmarr when their mother couldn't take care of the child due to her struggles with addiction. Ray Ray was only 19 years old at the time, barely an adult himself, making the inspirational story appealing enough to warrant the Hollywood treatment.

The popularity of the movie has led fans to wonder what happened to Ray Ray McElrathbey after his experience at Clemson. Did Ray Ray McElrathbey play in the NFL? How did his college football career end up? What is he doing today?

To answer the first question: No, Ray Ray McElrathbey did not play in the NFL.

McElrathbey was recruited to Clemson as a safety. (Hence the name of the movie.) During that redshirt freshman season in 2006, he played mostly special teams and was eventually converted to running back. He was third on the RB depth chart behind C.J. Spiller and James Davis, both of whom went on to play in the NFL.

Prior to his redshirt sophomore year in 2007, McElrathbey suffered a torn ACL in his knee that forced him to sit out the season. While sidelined with the injury, he finished his undergraduate degree in sociology.

Clemson didn't renew McElrathbey's football scholarship for the 2008 season, so he decided to pursue a master's degree at Howard University in Washington D.C.

McElrathbey later transferred to Mars Hill College in North Carolina to finish his college football career in 2010. He played defensive back and returned kicks for the Mars Hill Lions.

He never played in the pros.


McElrathbey worked in social services and non-profits for a while, including work with the homeless as a crisis coordinator. He currently runs a trucking company, and Ray Ray also works with his younger brother Fahmarr and their mother Tonya on Ray's Safety Net Foundation.

Published 24 Dec 2020, 15:16 IST
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