NFL Hall of Famer Ray Lewis paid a touching tribute to his son, Ray Lewis III, at his funeral this weekend.
Lewis III, a former college football player, died June 14 of an accidental drug overdose.
Less than two weeks after the 28-year-old’s death, his father delivered a moving eulogy to mourners who gathered at Calvary Orlando Church in Florida on Saturday.
“We’ll see you again,” the Baltimore Ravens legend said, via The New York Post. ’28, looking at my firstborn… the refs thought I was crazy running along the sideline.
“Everyone who is here in this room today for my son, from the bottom of my family’s hearts, thank you.”
Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis (left) paid tribute to his son Ray Lewis III (right) at his funeral this weekend
Lewis III’s funeral was held Saturday at Calvary Orlando Church in Florida
Lewis III was the son of linebacker Lewis who played for the Ravens his entire 17-year career
“My son was always telling me, ‘Dad, let’s make today a good day’. And today, now that I finally see my son’s physical body, you will make today a good day” , Lewis added, clasping his hands and gesturing skyward.
Lewis III was found unconscious at a home in Casselberry, 13 miles (21 km) north of downtown Orlando, around 5 p.m. on June 14.
The college athlete was lying naked in a room between a bed and a wall when police and paramedics arrived. He wasn’t breathing.
One friend was performing CPR, while another was screaming for Narcan – the chemical used to reverse overdoses.
In the bedroom, according to TMZ, was a blue pill near Lewis’ body, unofficially identified as Alprazolam – a sedative used to treat anxiety and panic attacks. They also found a used needle and a small plastic bag inside an empty beer can.
Casselberry Police Capt. Michael Schaefer said in a statement: “One of our officers used his issued narcan on Lewis, but his condition has not changed.”
The Seminole County Fire Department transported Lewis from the South Sunset Drive property to Advent Health Hospital in Altamonte Springs, where he was pronounced dead.
Ray Lewis Snr played for the Ravens his entire 17-year career and is widely considered the greatest linebacker in NFL history.
Former NFL player Ray Lewis, right, and his son Ray Lewis III watch the Miami Heat game in 2013
Ray Lewis Jr, 28, was found dead in a home near Orlando, Florida on June 14
Lewis III played for the Miami Hurricanes, Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, and Virginia Union Panthers while in college
Like his son, he attended the University of Miami and played college football for the Miami Hurricanes.
Lewis Jr. played for the Miami Hurricanes, Coastal Carolina Chanticleers and Virginia Union Panthers during his college career.
However, he failed to become a college football superstar and had recently been working on his music career.
Lewis III’s younger brother Rahsaan has alluded on social media to his brother’s mental health issues.
“I really can’t believe I’m even typing this but RIP big bro,” he wrote.
“A true angel, I pray that you are at peace now because I know how much you’ve been hurt. I haven’t and never will have the words man because this pain here…I love you I love you i love you.
‘Your niece is missing, but she will hear from you again and again, watch over us all, big bruh, be our guardian, I promise I’ll make you smile and proud.’
Virginia Union associate head coach Diego Ryland told TMZ: “A great young man and a better teammate.
Former college football player Lewis III was found unresponsive at a home in Casselberry, 13 miles north of downtown Orlando, around 5 p.m. on June 14.
Tributes poured in for the former college football player, who had branched out to start a music career
Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis. He is considered the greatest center linebacker in NFL history.
“The entire Virginia Union University community is praying for the family as they come to terms with the loss of Ray.”
Mark James, Lewis’ coach at Virginia Union, wrote: “Young man, it was a pleasure to bring you to Virginia Union.
‘Ray Ray God bless your family. Tall young man.
Lewis III attended Lake Mary High School in Florida, where he played on their track and football teams.
During his high school career, he rushed for 1,898 yards and scored 20 touchdowns. During his senior season, he rushed for 676 yards and scored four touchdowns.
He then moved to the University of Miami in 2013 where he joined the Miami Hurricanes football team as a running back.
After failing to make waves on the Miami soccer team, he transferred to Coastal Carolina University in 2015.
In January 2016, while at the University of South Carolina, he was arrested for sexual assault.
He was indicted by a South Carolina grand jury for third-degree felony sexual assault and expelled from the varsity football team.
But months later, the allegations were dropped following a lengthy investigation by law enforcement officials in South Carolina.
Lewis III attended Lake Mary High School in Florida, where he played on their track and football teams
Lewis III had recently worked on his music career after trying to follow in his father’s footsteps in the NFL and play college football.
“We had a very strong feeling from the start that this young man was guilty of nothing,” his lawyer, Tony Brittain, said at the time.
“I’m just relieved that prosecutors looked into the matter so thoroughly and came to the same conclusion that this case shouldn’t go forward.”
Court records from the investigation showed numerous discrepancies in the allegations.
In 2021, Lewis III signed with the Wyoming Mustangs of the Indoor Soccer Champions League.