What are your measurements (height, weight and forty
They have me listed at 6’4, 242. My best time is a
4.6. I run that on a consistent
When you were coming out of high school, what
programs showed interest in you?
I don’t know if you know my full story. I was
coming out of high school and I was recruited by
basketball programs. I was recruited by almost
everyone. I narrowed it down to Florida, Florida
State, Kansas State and Georgia Tech.
What made you choose the Florida Gators?
They had just won two National Championships. It
was close to home. My family could come to all of
the games. It seemed like a perfect fit. I had
just won Mr. Basketball and Gatorade Player of the
Year in Florida.
Did you like playing for Billy Donovan?
I didn’t enjoy playing for him because the style of
play didn’t fit me. I had fun learning from Coach
Donovan. He is a great coach. Every coach has a
different style of play. I just didn’t fit into the
scheme of things. I have all of the respect for
Why did you decide to play football instead of
basketball after that?
I got frustrated my sophomore year at Florida. I
felt like things would happen differently for me
there. I felt like they would use me differently.
I thought that they would use my strengths to help
the team. I wanted to start playing basketball
again. I took some visits. Basketball schools
recruited me. But it just wasn’t fitting right with
me. It was hard for me to make the decision. I was
sitting at home and thought that I wanted to try
something different like football. Football was
always my first love.
Why did you transfer to Central Florida?
LSU showed interest in me because my high school
coach made a few phone calls. He was my receivers’
coach in high school. But my former football coach
got me set up. He became the athletics director at
my high school while I was in Florida. I spoke to
him when I went back home. He still had contacts of
schools that were looking at me when I was playing
football my freshman year of high school. I only
played one year of football. He called Coach
Kelly. Coach Kelly was at Duke my freshman year of
high school. I told him that I wanted to go back
and play football. He said that he would come and
see me. He told me that he wasn’t at Duke anymore,
but at Central Florida. That was even better
because it was close to home. My cousin was on the
team. I didn’t have to work out. They saw me and
gave me a scholarship. That was a blessing.
Did you start playing LB right away for them?
In high school, I played safety and receiver. I was
only about 205 or 210 pounds after I finished
playing basketball. I had to sit out a year. At
first, I was at safety. I was on the scout team for
the entire year. When the next spring came around,
I got to about 230. They put me at LB, and I have
been there ever since.
Describe your senior season to us from a team and
The first year that I sat out, we had a great year.
We had a double digit win season and we beat Georgia
in the Liberty Bowl. I sat out that year, but I was
a part of it. My senior year was great. I was a
part of a double digit team. It felt great because
I was more a part of it. I was a starter my senior
year. We had a great camaraderie on the team this
Why didn’t you play in the bowl game against Ball
I had a really bad stinger. I missed a few games
before that bowl game. It was a stinger and a
really bad case of it. It just needed to heal
before I played again. Now I am healthy.
How gratifying was it to see your team go out there
and win convincingly against Ball State in the bowl
It felt good. It was kind of painful to not be able
to play, but I got over it. I was trying to help
the younger guys learn the game plan during the
preparation period. I felt like I was a part of
that win too.
What are your strengths?
I feel like I cover a lot of ground. I shed blocks
pretty well. I stop the run well. Overall, I am
working on my weaknesses and trying to become a
better all-around player.
What areas of your
game are you trying to improve upon?
Like I said, I have improved in all aspects of my
game. I am trying to work on every aspect. I don’t
think that I have one weakness which stands out. I
need to work on everything. I feel like I can stop
the run well, but I want to stop it great. I feel
like I can cover well, but I want to cover great.
What did you enjoy the most about playing college
I would say the team. In basketball, you only have
12 people on the team. You have so many guys on the
football team. It was great to be a part of
something so big. I enjoyed the camaraderie.
What is the highlight of your career?
The highlight for me was making First Team
All-Academic. My sophomore year at Florida, I was a
scholar athlete of the year for the whole SEC. I
was so stressed out about football when I chose to
play it again. I was always watching film. My
parents were telling that your grades still need to
be good. It was great when I was able to understand
football better. But my grades never declined.
They got even better. My senior year, I was on
All-Conference Academic Team.
How important is education to you?
Education is very important. My mom is actually a
teacher, and my dad is a police officer. They have
always been preaching education to me. Football
doesn’t last that long. You always need to have a
back-up plan. When I went to UCF, I took advantage
of it because I had an extra year. I was able to
get my degree before my senior year. I was able to
start on my master’s degree. I plan on going back
and finishing that. Education is really big to me.
What is your major?
I got my bachelor’s degree in communication and I
got a minor in business. I started my master’s in
What do you plan to do with your life after your
football career is over?
I don’t have the exact set plan because my
communications major is so broad. I can see myself
working in school as the athletic director. I
always wanted to be the athletic director.
How will you respond to teams that will point to
your inexperience as a football player?
My rawness is actually my advantage. I haven’t
picked up too many bad habits. Bad habits tend to
happen over a long period of time. I am new to it.
I have been able to do things at a high level on a
football field this year. I will keep going up from
this point on.
Who is your favorite NFL player?
I have always rooted for Ray Lewis.
What was it about Ray Lewis that appealed to you?
His athletic ability stands out. He makes a lot of
plays. He has huge faith in God. He is not afraid
to let that out. He is always praising God. You
have to have faith. I took a leap from basketball
to football. A lot of people told me that I am
dumb. They told me that I am good at basketball.
You haven’t played football. You will be on the
bench. I had faith. That was big for me. Ray
Lewis quotes have always stuck with me.
Ray, what is your definition of a leader?
A guy that does all of the right things. A leader
can lead by example. He can lead vocally. You
don’t have to be the best on the team in order to be
a leader. If he is doing the right things, people
will look towards you.
What are your hobbies?
I love fishing. It is my main hobby. I just
started learning how to cook.
What makes you a unique individual?
I am a huge momma’s boy. Many people don’t know
underclassmen on your team should we keep an eye on
in the future?
Terrance Plummer. He was a middle linebacker this
past year. He finished with a few more tackles than
me. He was only a sophomore. I expect big things
out of him next year.
Where are you currently training for the NFL Draft?
I am training at Cooper Strength in Tampa. I am
just trying to get faster. I am eating healthier.
I am getting stronger.
What is your training regimen like right now? Take
us into your daily routine.
I train two times a day. We start at 10 in the
morning. We train for two hours. Then we report
back at 2:30. We go Monday and Tuesday. Then on
Wednesday, we only have one training session. We go
back to two a days on Thursday and Friday. Then on
Saturday, we have one workout.
Who are you training with?
Nate Palmer from Illinois State, Don Jones from
Arkansas State and Earl Okine from the University of
Finish the sentence, Ray Shipman is …?
Intelligent, humble, determined individual,
passionate about football, God and his family.