NFL Running Back Ovie Mughelli Ready to Explode - page 3

By Jeff Ferrantino on November 30, 2006

Ovie MughelliRecently, Billick has been turning more and more to Mughelli as that same "enforcer" that the Ravens turn to.

"I'm honored that coach turns to me and says, 'You need to start it off,'" Mughelli says of being the teams' physical leader. "That makes me want to destroy the first guy that I hit on the first play of the game."

While he is gaining more and more respect and recognition with each passing week, Mughelli is quick to say that he's perfectly fine remaining anonymous. He laughs when he thinks about his mailbox at the Ravens' practice facility, joking, "I haven't checked mine in years. It probably still hasn't filled up!"

"The fact that Jamal will score and the camera will be on him as I'm walking to the sideline, I'm fine with that," he says. "Throwing me a bone every now and then would be nice, but as long as we win games, I'm good."

With the Ravens in a fight for a first-round bye in the playoffs, Mughelli says, "it's anybody's game right now" in the AFC.

"We know that we're not going to be just happy with the playoffs," he says. "We want to win a Super Bowl. That's why everyone came here and that's why everyone worked so hard in the offseason. That's what we're fighting for right now, to get to a Super Bowl."

Despite his reputation as a fierce hitter, Mughelli is considered to be one of the most polite and mild-mannered athletes in the game today. He is often at the front of the line when it comes to charity events and he recently founded the annual Ovie Mughelli Football Clinic and Educational Workshop to benefit the youth where it all started for him.

"I'm really excited about the work that I've been doing in my hometown of Charleston," he says with great pride. "There hasn't been a huge NFL presence there, and the fact that I used to be there as a high school player and I've succeeded in the NFL and came back, it means a lot more to the community than I ever thought it would."

Mughelli's camp included an educational workshop to help increase academic excellence among underprivileged students.

"We tried to talk to them about the importance of school, the importance of education, and also to believe in themselves," he says. "Teach them to set goals and to basically become the best versions of themselves possible. My thing is, I hate it when kids limit themselves. I hate when teachers or guidance counselors limit kids on what they can do, because the sky is the limit and if you don't let them know that, who will?

"Because we're NFL players, we have their minds, their ears, they listen to everything that we say. And we have the opportunity to create change for the positive, for the better, and I want to take full advantage of that."

Mughelli seems fully at peace these days. His time has finally arrived and he's fully seizing the moment before him. One thing is for certain, though, he isn't about to beg for the spotlight anytime soon.

"I'm not the flashy, flamboyant type of guy," he says, laughing. "I'm not going to do a Terrell Owens or Chad Johnson type of celebration. I'm just a hard worker and blue collar guy who's trying to get a W."

Be sure to check out Ovie Mughelli's official Web site — oviemughelli34.com.