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What ‘Last Chance U’ star Ronald Ollie went through before signing with Raiders

Raiders rookie DT Ronald Ollie goes through a workout

Defensive tackle Ronald Ollie, one of the players featured on the Netflix documentary series "Last Chance U," signed with the Oakland Raiders on Monday, May 6, 2019.
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Defensive tackle Ronald Ollie, one of the players featured on the Netflix documentary series "Last Chance U," signed with the Oakland Raiders on Monday, May 6, 2019.

Ronald Ollie can call himself an Oakland Raider now.

The defensive tackle — one of many players featured in the Netflix documentary series “Last Chance U” — signed with the Raiders on Monday following a three-day tryout at rookie mini-camp over the weekend.

“I’ve made the best of my opportunity to play,” Ollie told The Bee from Houston. “I knew I was coming out on a tryout and my odds were stacked against me, and I wanted to approach the tryout like everything else and just work.”

He gave it his all, knowing nothing is guaranteed at an NFL rookie mini-camp.

Ollie overcame the loss of his mom and dad when he was 5 years old, and signing with an NFL team signified a dream come true for him.

He used the tragedy as a motivation to succeed in life, no matter the obstacles he faced, said his trainer, Justin Allen.

Ollie, listed at 6-foot-2 and 292 pounds, was on “Last Chance U” in 2016 when he was a member of the East Mississippi Community College.

He then played two seasons at Nicholls, totaling 41 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss and two sacks in 2016. He missed the 2017 season before returning and finished with 33 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and five sacks.

Ollie is the second “Last Chance” alum to get in the NFL. The Los Angeles Rams drafted linebacker Dakota Allen in the seventh round in 2019.

On Sunday, Ollie recalled, Raiders coach Jon Gruden asked him a simple question: “Do you want to be a Raider?”

The 22-year-old said he didn’t hesitate, replying: “Yes, sir.”

He soon met with general manager Mike Mayock, who told him that the team would sign him.

He put pen to paper on Monday and was elated to join the Raiders.

On Monday, Ollie looked around the Alameda facility and got to meet Raiders quarterback Derek Carr in the cafeteria.

“God works in mysterious ways,” Ollie said. “I just thank him for it and that’s what I put my faith in and he hasn’t let me down. I was given an opportunity and to put in my work and just handle my business and know what I have to take care of.”

Anthony Galaviz writes about sports for The Fresno Bee. He covers the Oakland Raiders, high schools, boxing, MMA and junior colleges. He’s been with The Bee since 1997 and attended Fresno City College before graduating from Fresno State with a major in journalism and a minor in criminology.

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