To not hear your name called at the end of the seven rounds of the NFL Draft can be disheartening. For some players, this could be the end of their football journey.
For defensive tackle Ronald Ollie, he had already been at the end. Feeling like he had nowhere to go, he turned to East Mississippi Community College. Four years later, he has finds himself on the Oakland Raiders after signing as an undrafted free agent.
Getting there was no easy task. Ollie’s play and fame expanded during his time at EMCC, which was featured in the Netflix show ‘Last Chance U.’ Thanks to that, and some help from EMCC staff, he was able to secure a scholarship offer to play at Nichols State.
Now that he has finally made it to the NFL, Ollie has looked back on how much he has changed as a person, via Kyle Martin of Raiders.com:
“It’s been crazy just to look at myself and how much I’ve grown from that, and it’s just like a big difference from then to now,” he said in a moment of reflection. “Like I said, life puts you through certain situations you have to learn from them, grow up from them and just keep on moving every day, and trying to be a better person every day.
“Back then I was young and just thought life didn’t care about me, so I was mad at the world. I didn’t care about too much, I just did my own thing and stayed in my own little world, and didn’t bother nobody, but just didn’t care about nothing.”
Ollie stated that he has learned to make the most of each situation. He learned to believe in himself with the help of EMCC counselor Brittany Wagner. He used that strength to push past all adversities, including going undrafted. On top of that, he received a preliminary offer to join the Baltimore Ravens, but that offer was later pulled.
Luckily, Ollie soon received a call from Oakland. The addition could prove to be important for the Raiders, as they definitely need to improve on defense.
The Raiders signed Ollie in early May, making him the second player from “Last Chance U” to make into the NFL after the Los Angeles Rams drafted Dakota Allen.