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Ras-I Dowling
Virginia
Nominated by Mike London
Senior  

Ras-I Dowling is an exceptional young man on and off the field. From earning multiple All-ACC and All-American Honors throughout his career his story goes beyond his role as a star defensive back. In addition to the countless hours he spends preparing for a life as a football player he also takes the time to volunteer with many different organizations throughout the city. Much of his work involves enriching the lives of area children with his work as a teacher’s assistant with the ACE program and spending time in the Charlottesville Children’s Hospital with patients.

During his senior season Ras-I decided to return to Virginia to finish school and earn his degree and become the first person in his family to do so despite being ranked as a first or second round NFL draft pick. His commitment to his education and courage to follow his dream of getting a degree and pass on going to the NFL and possibly making millions shows his character. Unfortunately his senior season has been marred by injury and he has not produced like his preseason ranking had promised. Yet Ras-I has never lost his sense of resolve and passion and has remained a positive mentor, coach and spiritual leader for the team.