Unlike many of the players selected in the NFL draft last week, offensive tackle Ramon Harewood didn't dream of playing football. In fact, he had only played the sport for a handful of years.
Four years ago, Harewood's athletic focus was playing volleyball, rugby and track and field in Barbados, the Caribbean island nation with a population of about 280,000 which is a little less than half of Baltimore City. Now, he's a sixth-round draft pick for the Ravens.
"There's no American football in Barbados, so for me to aspire to do that would be ridiculous," Harewood told CNN in a recent interview.
Michael Grant, a former football coach (who eventually became a Morehouse College assistant), saw the 6-foot-6, 340-pound Harewood at a college fair in Barbados and suggested that he could have a professional career in the sport.
"I'm looking at him from a recruiting standpoint going, 'Oh, my god,' " Grant told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Harewood, who planned on being an engineer, enrolled at Morehouse in 2006 on an academic scholarship. He earned better than a 3.0 grade-point-average in applied physics and engineering, but he didn't have the same immediate success in football.
"I didn't immediately fall in love with it," Harewood said. "My first year here was a little bit tough trying to get adapted to the sport. I didn't really know too much about football."
In the spring of 2007, a new coaching staff was hired at Morehouse and moved Harewood to offense. He made first-team All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference the past two years.
"To see him do a good job academically and to come out and excel on the football field, we use him as motivation to the rest of the young men," Morehouse coach Rich Freeman, who said that almost every NFL team has sent a scout to the school this fall.
Harewood was projected to be a seventh-round pick or a priority undrafted free agent. But the Ravens decided to use their last pick (194th overall in the draft) on Harewood, who could play tackle or guard.
"The money isn't what drives me," Harewood said. "But of course, it's going to be great."