Photo: Jimmy Raye with Duffy Daugherty at the 1966 spring game.
Fayetteville Observer sports writer Sammy Batton wrote about a hometown book signing for Raye of Light and Fayetteville Hall of Famer Jimmy Raye. Raye attended then-segregated E.E. Smith High in Fayetteville, N.C.
Raye was recruited by progressive Michigan State head coach Duffy Daugherty, a College Football Hall of Famer, in 1964. Raye went on to a ground-breaking career as a black college quarterback and pioneering black coach and the college and NFL levels. He coached at Michigan State, Wyoming and Texas and in the NFL for 36 years, including serving as a mentor for many black coaches, including Tony Dungy. He's now an NFL Senior Advisor and 2015 will by 39th year in the league.
The youtube video is a collage of photos from the 1996 Game of the Century between Notre Dame and Michigan State that ended in a controversial 10-10 tie.
One of the Raye's long-time fans mentioned during the question-and-answer period that when he and his friends were kids playing backyard football games, they would throw passes and shout, "Jimmy Raye!"
That's a similar story to the one Tony Dungy, the first black coach to win a Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts in the 2006 season, wrote about in his foreword to Raye of Light. Dungy, from Jackson, Mi., had never seen a black quarterback until his father took him to Michigan State games at Spartan Stadium. He said as a kid playing football with friends he was Jimmy Raye.
Another guest at the book signing was long-time Fayetteville resident Greg (sorry, I didn't get his last name). He brought a photo clipped out of the Fayetteville Observer from Jimmy Raye Day in 1966. In the photo, Greg can be seen as a young kid in the background of the photo with Jimmy Raye and keynote speaker Bobby Mitchell of the Washington Redskins. He had saved that photo all these years and brought it with him for the book signing. The photo is on Page 22 of "Raye of Light" in Chapter 2, "Jimmy Raye Day."