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Baltimore Ravens among hundreds to mourn Tray Walker

By The Sports Xchange   |   March 28, 2016 at 1:04 AM
| License Photo

Members of the Baltimore Ravens were among the hundreds to mourn the death of cornerback Tray Walker on the day of his funeral.

Walker died March 18 from injuries sustained in a dirt bike accident in Liberty City, Fla. He was 23.

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Approximately 45 Ravens' coaches, executives and players were in attendance Saturday for Walker's funeral in his hometown of Miami.

Among those representing the Ravens' organization were head coach John Harbaugh, general manager Ozzie Newsome, wide receiver Steve Smith, receiver Kamar Aiken, defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan, cornerback Jimmy Smith and safety Matt Elam.

The Ravens entered Community Baptist Church together with Walker's family.

Harbaugh was one of nine people to eulogize Walker.

"A year ago, we had a pre-draft meeting, and we brought Tray in to find out what he was all about before we drafted him," Harbaugh said at the funeral. "He sat in my office, right across the table, looking me in the eye. The first thing I noticed was that smile -- that big Tray Walker smile.

"I said, 'Tray, what's the most important thing, what's your No. 1 motivation?' And he said, 'I want to take care of my mom. I love her, and I appreciate everything she has done for me.'"

Harbaugh concluded by saying, "Tray Walker, we love you, and we're going to miss you."

Walker, a 2015 fourth-round draft pick, played in eight games for the Ravens last season, mostly on special teams.

Walker, who played college football at Texas Southern, dedicated his rookie NFL season to his father, Tommy Walker, who died of a heart attack in 2014. The family spread the ashes of Walker's father off the coast of Miami one day after Walker was drafted -- on his father's birthday.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who played with Walker at Miami's Northwestern High School, was among the other players at the funeral.

Bridgewater told ESPN afterward that he will always remember the "great memories" he had with Walker and how much football meant to him.

"His NFL career had just begun," Bridgewater told ESPN. "He had tremendous upside, size, everything that you look for in a defensive back. Football was an outlet for us, so when he was out there on that field, football was a vacation for him. That's how it is for a lot of us down here (in Miami). So he was just scratching the surface and getting his feet wet in the NFL, and I was just excited for him knowing he was going to have a tremendous career.

"It's very tough for the community. Tray was a guy that was loved by many, as you can see with all the people that were here today. It's a tough loss. Everyone has great memories of Tray. He was a great guy and he will be truly missed."

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