Ollie enjoyed playing football, and he wanted the chance to play at a Division I school. He got that chance, and now he’s living his dream of playing professional football.
Ronald Ollie went through a lot during his time at East Mississippi
Ollie had a lot of potential on the football field and played an important role in the team’s defense. But he faced some issues away from the field, which had a negative impact on his schoolwork. The players attended community college because they wanted a chance to receive a full scholarship to continue their football career. Some players transfer in from big-time schools because they had issues with their grades or violated team rules. For Ollie, he was a native of Mississippi, and he just wanted to make it out.
During his time at East Mississippi, Ollie developed a close relationship with the school counselor, Brittany Wagner. Ollie would spend a lot of time in Wagner’s office, and the cameras would always catch the two spending time together. Wagner was the person that Ollie needed to get through his time at East Mississippi. She would push him and stay on him regarding his classwork so that he would get the grades he needs to be able to attend a four-year university.
Even when he felt like giving up, Ollie pushed through, and he was able to receive a scholarship to attend and play football at Nicholls State University in Louisiana. Ollie played two years at Nicholls State and had success there. As a senior, he was named to the All-Southland Honorable Mention team finishing with 13.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, and two fumble recoveries. After his college career, Ollie did not give up on his football career.
Ronald Ollie getting the chance to play in the NFL
During the 2019 NFL draft, the 6-foot-2 292-pound defensive lineman did not hear his name called. But he was still motivated to make a team. As an undrafted free agent, the Baltimore Ravens offered him to join the team. But as soon as that happened, the Ravens ended up pulling the contract and giving it to another player. Ollie could have thrown in the towel at that point, but he continued to put in the work in hopes of an NFL team reaching out.
Not too long after the Ravens gave the news to Ollie, he received a call from one of the Oakland Raiders (now the Las Vegas Raiders) scouts, and he asked Ollie if he could come to rookie minicamp. Ollie had the opportunity to make an NFL team, and he was determined to let the coaching staff know he was ready. Unfortunately, an Achilles injury forced Ollie to miss a lot of time during minicamp, and the Raiders decided to let him go. But that wasn’t the end of his football career.
The CFL had their eyes on Ronald Ollie
In January of 2020, Ollie signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League. In an interview with CBC Sports, Ollie talked about how he discovered the team was interested in him. “I heard I was on the [Toronto Argonauts’] negotiation list through Twitter,” Ollie said. “That’s when I talked with John Murphy [Argonauts VP of player personnel] and he told me they were interested. What I liked from our conversations is that we never discussed who I was on TV. I think that’s what gets lost when it comes to my skill set.”
Ollie is signed with the team through 2022, and Toronto is his new home for the time being. He has shown tremendous improvement from when he was at East Mississippi to now, and he’s doing something that he enjoys. One thing that Ollie, when he faced adversity, never gave up and it paid off.