It is not unheard of for Slippery Rock University football players to venture out to other sports and become dual-sport athletes. Wide receiver Marcus Carter and Will Graham joined the track team after their final seasons of eligibility, and were joined by senior receiver Leroy McClain before his last season as a member of Rock football.
Rock basketball head coach Kevin Reynolds has also had his share of football players join his program. Former Rock wide receiver Jaimire Dutrieuille and redshirt freshman defensive end Rahdezz Henderson played for Reynolds during the 2015-2016 season. In the 2016-2017 season, Reynolds hopes to have found a new gem in Rock football’s redshirt junior wide receiver Cornelius “Milly” Raye.
“He came up to me and asked for a tryout,” Reynolds said. “When you’re an athlete on another team, you have to ask their coach if it’s ok, so I went and asked Shawn [Lutz] if we can give him a look. We brought him one day and he had a great attitude, played hard and earned a spot on the team that day.”
Reynolds said that Raye brought his attitude from the football field to the court and got along well immediately with his new teammates. He said that he thinks Raye is a potential captain next year and has a winning mentality.
Raye is one of the most well-known names on The Rock football team. He has led Rock football in receptions the past two seasons and has ranked amongst the top in receiving touchdowns and yards. With one season left to play, he already has one of the most prolific careers in Rock football. He is ranked seventh in catches per game, eighth in touchdown catches, and 11th in career receiving yards,
Despite all of those accolades, Raye could not stay away from basketball.
“I wanted to focus on football and I did,” Raye said. “But at the same time in the back of my head and in my heart I’ve always loved basketball. I only got two years left, so I might as well go out with a bang and play both sports.”
Raye is just determined to be as great as a basketball player as he is football, but his route will not be as easy. At only 5’9” and joining after the season started, Raye said he sits at the bottom of the lineup. However, Raye does not fear the competition.
“I’m not afraid to be the underdog,” Raye said. “I’m going to put in the necessary work needed to compete.”
Raye said when he gets his chance he is going to do what he has to do. He is supporting his teammates and really getting to know everyone, but he expects to be on the court by the end of the season.
“I want to be on court playing,” Raye said. “Minutes aren’t a factor because minutes are up to me. All he has to do is give me a shot to get on the court and it’s up to me how much playing time I get after that.”
With Rock basketball only playing seven games out of their 28 game season so far, Raye has a significant amount of time to find his way on the court and attempt to make his mark in another Rock athletics program.