NORFOLK, Va. - Ray Lawry is not in-season. He is not on a roster. Yet, he's been busy watching game film.
Earlier this year, when the former Old Dominion running back learned he was not among the 30 college tailbacks invited to the NFL scouting combine - he took it personally.
"When I saw the list of the names of the running backs that were there, I looked up and watched film of every one of them, Lawry, a former three-star recruit out of high school, told News 3 Sports Director Adam Winkler. "I used that as a chip on my shoulder. I've been doubted and underrated my whole life, even coming to college - I wasn't really recruited. It's all repeating itself. I know when I get to the NFL, I'm going to show them I'm one of the best running backs in this draft class."
Lawry is the all-time leading rusher in Virginia college football (FBS level) history. His 4,080 yards rank ninth all-time in Conference USA history and his 45 career rushing touchdowns are tied for the third-best total in league history.
Despite being snubbed from the scouting combine, Lawry is creating buzz for himself with the NFL Draft less than a week away. Wednesday, the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles brought him in for a visit. The New Jersey native also attended the New York Jets' and Giants' local pro days earlier this month. Those visits were followed by workouts with the Los Angeles Chargers and Indianapolis Colts (first reported by Eric Edholm). The Panthers and Ravens have also shown interest.
"My film speaks for itself," Lawry explained. "They know I can run the ball. Right now, teams are trying to figure out where I fit in. Many of them are asking me to catch the ball - out of the backfield and out of the slot."
In four seasons with the Monarchs, Lawry caught 60 passes for 489 yards and three touchdowns. However, his season-high for receptions (21) came in 2015 - his sophomore season.
The four-time Conference USA postseason honoree (Freshman of the Year, 2nd-team and two-time Honorable Mention) missed four games in 2017 with a hamstring injury. However, he says he's 100 percent healthy.
"I've been hearing good stuff from teams, and so has my agent," Lawry admitted. "We're taking things day by day. Once the Draft comes - everything changes. You never know what's going to happen. I'm just going to stay positive and hope for the best."
Despite having four former players (Rick Lovato - Eagles, Rashaad Coward - Bears, Taylor Heinicke - Panthers, Zach Pascal - Titans) on NFL rosters, no Old Dominion Monarch has ever been selected in the NFL Draft.
"That would be great," Lawry said of the possibility of being the first ODU player drafted. "I left a good mark on Old Dominion. For me to be the first Monarch called, that would be a great feeling and a great achievement."
Lawry's teammate, defensive end Bunmi Rotimi, was invited to the 2018 NFL scouting combine. However, in a seven-round mock draft posted Friday on NFL.com, neither Lawry nor Rotimi are projected to be drafted.
"All I need is an opportunity, Lawry said. "Once I get an opportunity, I know I'm going to take full-advantage of it."