Montclair State football player Brennan Ray has been named in the Honorable Mention of the All-New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) after the 2018 division three football season. Ray, a sophomore at Montclair State and Delta Chi brother, plays the position of safety as well as linebacker, and is considered to be a hybrid player. He has a season high of eight tackles and one sack after the first three games of the 2019 football season.
Ray is from Cape May, New Jersey and is majoring in exercise science. Although he played football in high school, he describes the dynamics of high school and college football as being completely different.
“With high school football, you have so many people there, and you’re necessarily playing to go to the next level so you’re trying to show the best of your ability,” Ray said. “Then when you come here you have to do the same thing, but you’re playing against kids that are just as good as you, if not better.”
When he is not on the field practicing or playing, Ray is a part of the Delta Chi Fraternity. He spends most of his time doing a lot of community service with the Jimmy V Foundation, which focuses on cancer research. However, while being off campus, he also works with a foundation that enables children who struggle with disabilities to play sports. Ray helps the football team by giving new recruits tours of the campus, and is praised by coaches and teammates alike.
Although Montclair State was not his first choice, upon visiting the campus and seeing the team and how they practice as a whole, Ray felt very welcomed by the coach, which encouraged his decision to commit to Montclair.
While being a team player has brought Ray to the attention of football coaches, his teammates think highly of him as well. Teammate Mike Ramos, a sophomore defensive back, describes the close bond that he and Ray have together.
“That’s my brother,” Ramos said. “Only from knowing him for two years, on the field the bond is great, but off the field as well. It’s hard coming into Montclair’s defense as a true freshman not really knowing anything, but he has been doing awesome.”
Head Crew Coordinator and Receivers Coach Mike Palazzo describes Ray as being a positive influence on the team, who has a great outlook towards the team and season alike.
“Brennan is everything you want in a kid, as far as personality and characteristics as well as leadership, Brennan has had all that since day one,” Palazzo said. “He continues to grow every year and become more of a role model for younger players as he gets older.”
Palazzo continued to praise Ray on being a relentless worker and being a unique player which will only benefit him in his future with football. With it still being early in the season, Ray has shown that he is a player to watch for the rest of the season, as well as upcoming years.