Hometown: Charleston, WV
Record: 29-16-1, Bowl Record: 0-2
Today, we take a look at one of the most massive linemen to play at West Virginia University. John Ray stood 6’ 10” and weighed in at 320 pounds. The West Virginia native came to play for Coach Don Nehlen right as the Mountaineers made a run at the National Championship in 1988. Ray was one of the best recruits in the country that year, fielding many offers from big time programs, but decided to stay home and play for the Mountaineers. He would prove to be a valuable asset for the Mountaineers, helping to keep the team competitive in the down years between Major Harris and Jake Kelchner.
Memorable Game: There were not too many majorly memorable games during John Ray’s time as a starter. The one game that stands out to me is the 1991 thrashing of the Terrapins in College Park, MD. The 1991 season marked the inaugural Big East season for the Mountaineers. WVU had limped out to a 2-1 record with narrow victories over Bowling Green and South Carolina after an embarrassing loss to Pitt in Week 1. The Mountaineers would make a statement in Week 4 against the Maryland Terrapins. The offense was moving the ball well in recent weeks, but struggled with turnovers. That would all change against Maryland. WVU ran up and down the field on the Terps, while doing a great job of protecting the ball. Ray and the offensive line cleared the way for the Mountaineer rushing attack to pile up 334 yards on the ground en-route to a blowout 37-7 victory.
Competition: John Ray got the nod hear due to his incredible stature, and the fact that he is the only notable player to wear #70 with a picture online (granted this is an admittedly bad picture). Some other players that you might remember at #70 include: Donnie Lindsey, Brad Hunt, and Travis Garrett.
Teaser: Enough with these older linemen! Tomorrow we will honor a relatively recent offensive lineman. Some might argue that I am making the wrong pick tomorrow, but I feel that this player is worthy. If you want justice, take it up with the court! I’m on a mission to make it to Hollywood (or at least somewhat miniscule WVU message board fame) just like Jay and Silent Bob! Maybe I need a freaking monkey?
(Warning video clip features explicit language)