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Draft Day: Raymond Calais - Earned Not Given

Calais projected to be a Day 3 Selection
Posted at 1:19 PM, Apr 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 16:11:55-04

When you talk about UL Football's success over the last two years, it begins with the run game and their trio of tailbacks: Elijah Mitchell, Trey Ragas and Raymond Calais.

In just a few days, Calais' lifelong NFL dreams will turn into reality, and there's no doubt this opportunity was earned.


"Growing up that was always my dream,” Calais said. “Hopefully i get the call that it's a good day.”


Calais burst onto the scene early on at Louisiana as a special teams star, but he was determined to show Head Coach Billy Napier and staff he could be just as successful at running back.


“He's goal oriented. He's making the most of his team,” Napier said on October 19th. He’s coached Calais for 2 years now. “He's made drastic improvement since we've been here.”


As 1/3 of the Cajuns 3-headed monster in the backfield, Calais made the most of his touches. As a senior, he finished 3rd in the nation with 7.6 yards per carry.He also earned All-Sun Belt honors at running back, kick returner andnd all purpose. His accomplishments landed him a spot in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.


"I really learned a lot,” Calais says of his week in California. “I learned how to be a professional. Every practice was a gameday rep.

After a strong performance at that all star game, the Cecilia product earned an invite to the biggest showcase of them all, the NFL combine.


"My agent told me to check my email. When I looked to see the official invite, I started crying."


His 40 yard dash time of 4.42 was 3rd overall among running backs, while he also placed in the top 10 for bench press and vertical jump at his position.


"Coming from a smaller school, I thought the big school names was going to get most of the attention,” Calais said. “I let my game do the talking.”


But most importantly, the combine was confirmation that he belonged with the best.


“I never felt different from any of them. We all similar, look alike. All built the same. So to me, there really ain't no difference.”

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