MATTHEW RICE (MATEO BLU)
I just entered my NFL rookie year, which became a testimony in itself. I went through a rollercoaster of emotions from disappointment when it didn’t seem like I was going to get drafted, to being signed by the Bills, to getting released just weeks into my contract. Then just like that, I was picked up by the Rams and led the league in sacks.
Despite a good run with the Rams, I moved on to play for the Giants where I felt like I found a home. Then after an intense game leaving 5 corner backs injured, I was released to help replenish the team. At that point, I felt like I had my fill of football. I had a great high school and college career but the business and politics of professional football disagreed with me. Factors that were totally out of my mental and physical control were directing my future. I finished out that season playing for a total of 4 teams, 8 coaches, learning 4 different playbooks that really are as thick as a bible.
Although my football career ended not long after that, I learned that I could handle any and everything that could come my way good or challenging. Football gave me discipline and strength and with it I found my truth. No matter what comes my way, I have to keep pushing.
I AM ORANGE ARROW
Hometown: Baltimore City
High School: Eleanor Roosevelt
Highlight: All Metropolitan, All State, State Regional/Semifinal Champ, State Championship, Maryland All Decade Team
College: Penn State
Highlight: 2005 Big Ten Champions, 2006 Orange Bowl Champ