Having grown up just south of Atlanta in Griffin, Ga., Bobby Rainey made his NFL debut in front of more than 30 friends and family members Thursday in his home state when the Ravens came to town for a preseason game.
He didn't disappoint.
Rainey had 140 total yards (36 rushing, 28 receiving, 76 return) and a touchdown in Baltimore's 31-17 preseason win over Atlanta. His touchdown was on a screen pass, where Rainey caught the ball toward the right side of the field before cutting back to the left.
Atlanta over-pursued on the play and Rainey made them pay. C Gino Gradkowski made things easier with a key block to help Rainey to the end zone in the fourth quarter.
"I took advantage of them and started cutting back," Rainey said. "I could see the touchdown, and I wouldn't be denied."
Rainey, an undrafted rookie, was the focal point of Western Kentucky's offense the past two years. In 2010, he ran for 1,649 yards and 15 touchdowns, and followed that with 1,695 yards and 13 touchdowns last year. In 2011, he also added 405 receiving yards, which gave him more than 2,000 total yards.
As Rainey said, the "numbers don't lie" when it comes to production, regardless of the size and conference affiliation of the school. At Western Kentucky, Rainey faced some big-name programs. He ran for 85 yards against LSU, and would've gone over 100 if it wasn't for a called halfback pass that lost him 17.
Baltimore noticed Rainey during the offseason and scooped him up after the draft. At first glance, you would've been hard pressed to find someone who'd say Rainey had a shot at making the 53-man roster. While there's a long way to go, Rainey's generated a lot of buzz this preseason and is looking to prove why he had so much success at Western Kentucky.
"Every practice is like a game for me," Rainey said. "I don't have that luxury of coming out here and just relaxing. I have to be on point every practice just to get an opportunity in a game."
Rainey is continuing to try and prove the naysayers wrong. Georgia didn't recruit him out of high school, and while Georgia Tech didt, they backed off due to his SAT score.
It all worked out for him at Western Kentucky though, where he became the school's all-time leading rusher with 4,542 career yards. He also ranks 11th all-time in Football Bowl Subdivision history with 6,906 all-purpose yards.
"The more reps that I get the more comfortable I am with the players," he said. "The more comfortable you are, you play fast instead of just thinking. So, right now I'm starting to play fast and starting to get the plays down."
Follow Ravens reporter Jason Butt on Twitter @CBSSportsNFLBAL.