In this episode of The Player Experience, we are excited to welcome Rafe Peavey, a seasoned quarterback hailing from Bolivar, MO. Rafe has an impressive background, having played for three NCAA Division I football programs before taking his game to the professional level. In this interview, Rafe communicates what he has learned at different stages of his career, the importance of service, and what it takes to make it to the top. If you are interested in learning more from Rafe, follow him here : @ithrowfootballs
What did you play, where did you play, and what was that experience like?
I played football at the University of Arkansas, Southern Methodist University, and Florida Atlantic University & had a short stint with the Calgary Stampeders.
My dad played for the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos, so I grew up wanting to be just like him. Also, a huge part of it for me was football gave me the chance to get my school paid for. If I didn't get a football scholarship, I was going into the Army. In my mind, it was either one or the other.
What did your training look like throughout your playing career? What does it look like now?
As crazy as this may sound, I actually started training when I was in 4th grade. My dad was the head coach at Southwest Baptist University and used to let me take a part in their off season strength and conditioning program. Other than that, I had to make the most of what rural Missouri had to offer. Now that I am finished playing, I try my best to maintain my health and wellness. I try to work out four times a week, with a recovery day in the middle of the week. I usually take the weekends off.
Tell us what a typical day in the life looks like as a college football player.
Here’s my best example of what a day in the offseason looked like when I was at Arkansas:(3:50am) - Wake Up(4:30am) - Change into workout gear(4:45am) - Weigh Ins / Mandatory protein shake(5:00am-7:00am) Run / Lift (7:05am) - Post workout shake (7:15am) - Shower(7:30am) - Breakfast (8:00am-12:00pm) - Classes(12:30pm) - Lunch (2:00pm) - Team led 7on7(3:30pm-4:30) - Meetings (6:00pm) - Dinner(7:00pm-9:00pm) - Homework
What was a major hurdle for you to play D1 football at a top conference, like the SEC?
Being from a small town was probably the biggest hurdle for me to get the opportunity to play at the Division-I level. For example, there are probably 30 Division-I prospects in a ten mile radius in the Dallas Metroplex, whereas in Missouri, there may be 30 Division- I prospects in the whole state. In order to help get some exposure, my parents had to take me to camps all over the country.
What are your goals going forward? Where do you want to be in 1 year?
I recently started a job as a construction manager building custom homes in Dallas. With that being said, I want to do my best to put my trades in a position to be successful. From a production standpoint, we try to build homes in under 150 days, within budget, and model home quality. From a personal standpoint, I want to love & serve those around me and make their days better by being a constant source of encouragement for them. In one year, I want to be in a position where I can team up with Bonton Farms in South Dallas, and offer jobs to men who get out of prison and can’t find work due to limited opportunities and to their criminal background. I’d love to help start a non-profit to help get those people back on their feet and offer them a way out of the cycle.
What are the obstacles to you meeting your goals?
Effective time management will be the biggest obstacle.
What was the best thing about playing football at Arkansas, SMU, and FAU?
Arkansas - The fan base made it feel like I was in the NFL.SMU - The academic rigor and tradition made me feel like I was at Harvard.FAU - Getting to swim in the ocean every day after practice.
Over your career, who are some teammates you really enjoyed playing with?
Getting to be a part of three teams / locker rooms was incredible. I was able to meet so many people that have shaped me into the man that I am today. Above them all though, these guys have had the biggest impact on me as a man and I enjoyed every second that I got to share with them. Cody Hollister - Arkansas - WR for the Tennessee TitansTrey Flowers - Arkansas - DE for the Detroit Lions Martrell Speight - Arkanasas - LB for the Washington Redskins Courtland Sutton - SMU - WR for the Denver BroncosPono Davis - SMU - DLWill Hopkins - SMU - OLDevin Singletary - FAU - RB for the Buffalo BIllsHarrison Bryant - FAU - TEJohn Raine - FAU - TE
Who do you love to watch or who model your play after?
I grew up trying to play every aspect of the game just like Tim Tebow. I’ve never seen a more fierce competitor.
Who inspired you to play?
Brother - Being that competitor that I am, I always wanted to beat my brother in everything we did.Dan Marino - I was a huge Dan Marino fan growing up and wanted to have the same impact he did. Tim Tebow - Tim Tebow was a great example for me of how to incorporate my faith into my sport.
Any classic or funny stories from college or pro ball?
When I went down to Miami for a workout with the Dolphins, and after our team meeting I ran into Dan Marino in the Bathroom and for some reason, I couldn’t really think of an ice breaker, so the first words that came out of my mouth were, “Hey Dan, I’ve got a huge collection of your football cards from when I was a kid.” And to this day I’m not really sure where I was going with that one.
How can you describe the recruiting process for college, and the draft process into professional football?
Recruiting - If you are good, they will find you. However, I’d say that it is important to help get your name out there by taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves. NFL Draft Process - You have to get on the field early in your career. Even if it is at a smaller school. All the scouts want to see you on film, so try and pick a school that allows you to see action early.
What tools and resources did you lean on to further your success?
As far as a resource goes, I leaned heavily on my pastor Todd Wagner. He was a great example of how to devote daily to God’s word, pursue people relationally, counsel friends biblically, live authentically, admonish faithfully, and showed me how to engage missionally. He was and still is a great example of how to be a Christ-follower. I think the emotional intelligence that developed was priceless.
What is a piece of advice you’d want a young player coming through the ranks to know?
I used to spend countless hours watching film up in the video office and usually stayed up there until around 10pm, but nobody except our video guys ever knew that I was up there. If I could do it over again, I would have probably made an effort to watch film in the coaches office, so that those guys could see the hours that I put in. On top of that, collaboration with the coaches would have definitely helped my growth as a quarterback. Also, recruits coming up through the ranks, remember that too many pats on the back will set you back. Clothe yourself in humility and never lose your edge.