Have a conversation with Latevius Rayford and one thing will be clear: He's not your stereotypical receiver.
Rayford repeatedly says he doesn't want to get the “big head”. He wants to stay humble and shares his disdain of trash talk. Terrell Owens he is not.
Yet the Memphis (Tenn.) Central propect can't help but compliment himself just a bit when he describes the time in which he came into his own on the football field.
It occurred when he was in the eighth grade and he worked out with the high school defensive backs. Even surprising himself, he did quite well.
“We used to do one-on-one drills and I used to beat all the DBs,” Rayford said, adding that some were high school seniors.
That's when Rayford realized he didn't like trash talking because it just distracted him from his game. That's also when he became excited about his future in football.
Now, Rayford is a 6-foot, 175-pound receiver with scholarship offers from Arizona State and Western Kentucky. While so many high school players rely on God-given ability, Rayford also likes to lean on his technique.
“My strengths are route running, awareness of the football, going up to catch the football, knowing the game pretty well and reading defenses so I can adjust my routes,” said Rayford, who had 45 catches for 850 yards and six touchdowns last season.
More offers are likely coming. Rayford has strong interest from Memphis, Ohio State, Duke, North Carolina, Cincinnatti and Mississippi State. He'll participate in a combine on Alabama's campus this weekend and, if he does well, his stock should soar.
Rayford has also taken to the road to promote his game and learn about his suitors. He has visited Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Arkansas State, Western Kentucky and Memphis. He came away impressed with all, but said it seemed like Arkansas State, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt wanted him the most.
As for his offers, Rayford said he likes the fact that Western Kentucky is a rebuilding football program and that Arizona State is within an area he's comfortable traveling to.
“I really don't want to go too far from home, but that's not too far as long as it's not in Oregon or California,” Rayford said. “If it's to better myself then I will go to any school.”
Rayford intends to better himself, but don't expect him to brag about it when he does.