At 6-foot-8 and more than 300 pounds, John Ray's size is still serving him well.
The former George Washington and West Virginia offensive lineman works as a concrete salesman in Indianapolis and, as part of the job, sometimes visits construction sites.
He generally makes a lasting impression.
"People remember you,'' Ray said in a recent phone interview from Indianapolis. "Being my size helps when I go out on these construction sites. Everybody's a tough guy in the construction business.''
Ray, a 1987 GW graduate, was part of the Mountaineers' undefeated season in '88 and after completing his college career moved to Indianapolis where he signed a free-agent NFL contract and played briefly with the Colts.
He found a home there, got married, started a family and works for Beaver Materials. "I sell concrete for construction,'' he said. "It's a family-owned business out here, and they're really good. And Indy's a nice city, so it's worked out pretty well.''
At least once a year, the 41-year-old Ray tries to return for a Mountaineer football game, and he stays in touch with such former Mountaineers as Charlie Fedorco, Mark Ulmer, Brad Hunt and Brian Jozwiak.
He joined ex-Mountaineers Mike Compton and Aaron Beasley and his former coach Don Nehlen for a golf outing last year and plans to reunite with other WVU alumni at this year's spring practice game.
A few years ago, as Ray was riding a golf cart in front of his home, former WVU receiver Reggie Rembert happened to drive past and recognized his ex-teammate. Rembert honked his horn and pulled into the Ray driveway for a visit.
At first, Ray didn't recognize the former Mountaineer and didn't know what to think.
"I thought this guy was mad about something,'' said Ray. "I hadn't seen him in about 10 years.''
The golf cart, Ray noted, was emblazoned with WVU logos.