Feb. 19, 2013
By RYAN MILLINOWISCH
The old saying is that records are made to be broken.
While it may take a few years before he gets within striking distance of the record, Philadelphia Soul defensive back Rayshaun Kizer is steadily narrowing the gap between him and Kenny “The Glove” McEntire’s career interception mark. Even though there are several other players in front of him, with 12 more interceptions, Kizer could very well finish 2013 in second place on the all-time list.
Kizer is already ahead of McEntire’s pace. In Kizer’s first three seasons, he has picked the ball off 39 times which is 11 more than McEntire had throughout his first three seasons.
“I’ve been in good situations and I’ve had great coaches,” explained Kizer. “In Orlando, I had Pat O’Hara and Lee Johnson coaching me and last year I had Coach Plank. They all have set me up for success. I also have to credit the pass rush. There are no good defensive backs without out a good pass rush and I have been fortunate enough to have that.”
Kizer has shown potential throughout his entire playing career. Kizer finished his college career with the third-most interceptions in Walsh College history.
“I wasn’t as good as I am now, but I have always had a knack for getting the ball. It’s only been recently that I have been getting double digit picks,” said Kizer. “In college, I finished near the top of the all-time list for interceptions with 14 at my school. The right opportunity always seems to present itself.”
Those opportunities come because Kizer puts in the effort on and off the field.
“I watch a lot of film. I know Coach Plank and Coach Johnson put me in a lot of good situations,” said Kizer. “If you get a lot of repetition in practice, the games are easy. I go into the game looking to get at least two interceptions.”
Kizer’s success on the field also creates opportunities for his teammates. Just like a top of the line receiver draws a double team and opens up a teammate, Kizer’s presence on the field forces quarterbacks to avoid him and take their chances against his teammates.
Last season with Philadelphia, Kizer’s teammate Kent Richardson led the League with 14 interceptions which he was able to parlay into a contract with the Cleveland Browns. The season before, Kizer’s teammate in Orlando Travis Coleman was able to manage 11 interceptions. On top of that, since Kizer’s debut in 2010, his teams’ record is a combined 34-18.
“When I have success, my teammates have success. Quarterbacks notice that I have made a lot of interceptions over the years so they don’t throw the ball as often my way. This opens up the door for my teammates like Kent Richardson. He had a lot of balls thrown his way and he took advantage of the opportunity.”
Anytime Kizer takes the field he is as dangerous offensively as he is defensively. He has racked up 576 interception yards putting him third on the all-time list. To go along with those interception yards, he has returned six of his 39 picks for touchdowns, ranking him 13th all-time. With two more interception returns for touchdowns, he will move all the way up to third all-time. If he doesn’t make it all the way to the end zone he is still certainly setting the offense up to score.
“I’m fortunate enough to have six return touchdowns. I think that I should have more, but I do have good return skills,” said Kizer. “I know that if I can get past the receivers, I can beat the linemen.”
Regardless of where Kizer ends up on the all-time interceptions list, he will still be known as one of the most prolific defensive backs to ever play Arena Football.
Only time will tell if he was meant to break “The Glove’s” record.