Scott Porter: What struck your interest in football?
Ray Shipman: I loved contact. When I was a little boy football was a big deal where I was from. A lot of people were playing it. We use to play in the house and in the yard. My dad took me out one day and showed me how to hit people and some basic things with the game. It stuck with me ever since. My dad was very influential in my interest in terms of picking up the game of football.
Scott Porter: What do you feel are your greatest strengths?
Ray Shipman: I would say pursuing the ball are among my greatest strengths. I have the ability to cover a lot of ground. I also have good strength and I am very physical. I shed blocks well with my good size. I played basketball at Florida so I have learned how to play quick guys and I can use the size and strength to my advantage.
Scott Porter: You started off playing basketball at Florida. How did that help you grow as a football player at Central Florida?
Ray Shipman: It really helped me out with my athletic ability. It also helped me out with my footwork. Basketball is a game where you have to be quick with your feet. The biggest way it helped me out was in my tough times. When stuff didn’t go my way at Florida playing basketball I found ways to fight through it. When I decided to pursue football and the obstacles I had to overcome I was prepared for the struggle and found ways to fight through it because I had to overcome that stuff already. Basketball made me more of a fighter. I had to fight through a lot of adversity. I learned to work harder and that nothing would come to me. I understood to get where I want to be I am going to have to work my tail off and go out there each day with that mindset.
Scott Porter: What goals do you have for yourself?
Ray Shipman: I want to max out all of my potential. I don’t want to leave any part of my game hanging. I want to be a pro bowler and an NFL starter. Not just another player.
Scott Porter: What is one of your favorite memories at Central Florida?
Ray Shipman: I would say winning the Liberty bowl was one. However, the memory that will stick the most would be our bowl win vs Ball State this year. Although I was not able to play in it I was a big part of it. It was big moment for our program. To go out my final game with a bowl win was a great way to end a good tenure with Central Florida.
Scott Porter: Is there a player in the NFL that you compare yourself to?
Ray Shipman: Rolondo McClain. I know his career has not gone the way he wants it to so far, but I feel his athletic ability is very similar to mine.
Scott Porter: What would you tell an NFL team interested in Ray Shipman?
Ray Shipman: They are getting an intelligent football player. I am always working hard to get better. I have no baggage as I have never been in trouble off the field. I always strive for success and I am a leader. I am always going to give it my all. I am dependable.
Scott Porter: What are you looking forward to the most about your opportunity in the NFL?
Ray Shipman: I am looking forward to earning a roster spot with an NFL team. Just that opportunity to make the team is great and I want to take full advantage of that. Central Florida has prepared me well and I am ready for the challenge. I am looking forward to taking my skills to the next level to match them up with the best in the business.
Scott Porter: What are your hobbies off the field?
Ray Shipman: I like to fish. I have been learning how to cook. I have taken an interest in cooking recently. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.