Former Maryland running back Keon Lattimore hasn’t had an NFL tryout in more than year and he has made stops in Trenton, N.J. and Chambersburg, Pa. in his quest to finally crack an NFL roster. His latest stop was in Owings Mills -- minutes away from his house -- for Saturday’s NFL regional combine at Ravens headquarters.
Lattimore, the younger half-brother of Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, was among more than 130 NFL hopefuls -- many with ties to the region -- who were at the regional combine. A handful of them have been selected to attend the NFL’s Super Regional Combine in March at Detroit’s Ford Field. The ultimate goal for most of the prospects in attendance was to impress scouts enough to get drafted. But Lattimore is no longer draft-eligible.
Instead, he was hoping to earn a tryout or a spot on a training camp roster with an impressive workout or two.
He has tried to keep his body in football shape and his NFL dreams alive by playing with the Trenton Steel of the Southern Indoor Football League and more recently the Chambersburg Cardinals, a semi-pro team based in south-central Pennsylvania.
“[Arena football is] fun. It’s football. But it’s not like outdoor, man. It’s not like the big leagues,” Lattimore said before Saturday’s workout. “I just wanted to do something -- keep playing, keep perfecting my craft -- where I wasn’t just sitting around, waiting around, [so] when the opportunity finally did come, I would be ready.”
Lewis has given him dieting tips, pointers on his game, and advice and inspiration whenever the brothers work out together. Lattimore said that he has been in Ray’s shadow his entire life -- not that he minds it -- but his brother is his biggest fan. They have intense conversations about their futures in the game, and with Lewis, 36, seemingly in the twilight of his career, Lattimore has seen no signs that Lewis plans to retire from the Ravens anytime soon.
“He told me the other day after we worked out, ‘Little Bro, I feel like I could play another five years,’” said Lattimore, who spent time with three NFL teams but never made it onto a 53-man roster. “It looked like it because at the rate he works out at, it’s just ridiculous, man. He still works out like his first, second year in the league.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun