Heritage-Conyers finds star in former band member

Heritage-Conyers senior Michael Raiford is not the typical college football recruit except that he’s 6 feet 6 inches and 280 pounds, just what teams are looking for in a lineman.

Raiford has played football for only one season. The coaching staff plucked him from the marching band, where he played the tuba. He’s still in the concert band, and his first love remains the ROTC. His life goal is to become a Marine.

“We had a lot of FBS [formerly Division I-A] schools in here trying to get him, but as soon as Navy offered, he jumped on it,” Heritage defensive line coach Chris Pack said. “I honestly think if he had an opportunity to turn pro or become a Marine, he’d become a Marine first.”

This week has been a somber one for Raiford, as his father, Garland E. Raiford II, passed away.

Raiford’s family is coming from out of town and will attend Friday’s scrimmage game against Eastside in support of Michael. They will do a balloon release before the game in a celebration of Garland Raiford’s life.

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5 comments Add your comment

Chris Eagle

August 17th, 2012
10:05 am

This is such an uplifting story. Also, our prayers go out to the young man.

Spanky

August 17th, 2012
12:29 pm

As a Heritage High alum, class of ‘92, my thoughts and prayers go out to this kid and his family. Semper Fi and God Bless, Michael!

Chanta lockhart

August 17th, 2012
3:51 pm

My heart goes out to the family. Just remember that GOD make no mistakes when he pick his flowers. I know he will be watching over you. I will keep you and your family in my prayer.

CJJScout

August 19th, 2012
9:56 am

Sounds like this kid has his head screwed on straight, he’ll make his daddy proud.

Copernicus

August 20th, 2012
2:29 pm

This is a great story and this kid is setting himself up to be in a great position as he gets older. By choosing Navy he has the opportunity to be an officer in the Marine Corp upon graduation. He gets the best of all worlds: play football, become an officer, be a Marine.