The Northshore Gridiron Football Elite Camp featured a lot of speedy playmakers including Salmen High School 2024 WR Kaileb Rayford, who was one of the standouts from the camp. At 5’9, 150 pounds, Rayford has the speed to blow by defenders and he did that on a frequent basis for the Spartans last season earning All-District honors as a junior. Whether it was scoring touchdowns on offense or locking down receivers on defense, the two way starter proved to be a great option. Having the ability to play both ways last season has made him an all-around football player.
“At receiver, I’m a route runner and a guy that can run past you and as a defensive back, I play smart and discipline.”
On offense, there is no question that Rayford can put on the burners, but he also understands that he can use his speed to his advantage as a route runner. In fact, there is one route that the Salmen receiver feels is unguardable when he is on the field.
“I would say definitely a corner post because I always score on it.”
Playing on both sides of the football has also helped him become more of a vocal leader on the field.
“it helps me in a leadership aspect and encourages me to speak up.”
Rayford also tries to take pages out of two big LSU names that are both excelling as wide receivers in the NFL.
“Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase are the two wide receivers that I model my game after. Those guys are big idols to me.”
As a player that is capable of scoring every time he touches the football, there is no doubt that Rayford is confident in his abilities and he showed off his confidence at the recent Gridiron Football Elite Camp where he was named a top performer with his performance in the 1 on 1 drills and also his explosive 4.53/40 time at the camp. The rising senior was excited to show off his abilities and put on a good performance that could help elevate his stock to colleges for the upcoming season.
“I think it’s a really good camp and a great camp to try to get exposure if you don’t have much right now and I really learned there how to be more patient at defensive back.”
His performance also got him an invitation to play in the 2023 Gridiron Football All-American Bowl Game and he is excited to continue to show why he should play at the next level.
“It was a big honor to be invited and i definitely can’t wait to play in it.”
With the positive momentum from the camp, Rayford has used that as motivation to continue to get better on the field. Although not a big speaker, it is his play on the field and work ethic that does the talking.
“It is rare that I am off the field. I am always trying to get work in. I want to continue to improve on my speed and I want to gain more weight. That is a big thing for me and is something that I have to do.”
Originally coming over from Pearl River High School, Rayford transferred to Salmen High School his junior season and ever since he suited up to play in his first game last year, head coach Eric Chuter and the Spartans have taken him in like one of their one.
“My favorite memory was definitely the game I came back because I was ineligible because I was a last year transfer. It was vs. Bogulusa. All the coaches were acting upset so of course, it made me upset because the paper had came in on if I was eligible or not. Well, Coach Chuter came and everyone was in a circle. I was in the middle. He handed me the paper, and it said eligible and the whole team jumped up.”
Rayford has played football since he was seven years old and has a chance to make plenty of more memories entering his final year playing high school football. He started his senior year off by having a dominant showing in the spring game against Plaquemine with two touchdown catches, which also so happened to be the team’s first game on their new artificial turf. Rayford certainly hopes that what was shown in the spring are signs of bigger things to come in the fall.
“It meant a lot to the team to be back in the stadium and that gave us a lot of momentum as well. People should keep an eye on us because we have a lot of talented players that play hard and work hard.”
“I’m more of a team guy and our goals as of right now are to come together as one and win games.”
Kaileb Rayford has yet to receive an offer, but with a 2.9 GPA to boot off the field, he certainly has the speed, route running, leaping ability, and most importantly, the work ethic to be a great asset for any college at the next level.
“I’m a hard working guy and I’m good at taking coaching as well like if I mess up and a coach corrects me, I take that correction and I make it happen.”
There is no question that when it comes to finding a way to the end zone, Kaileb Rayford certainly knows how to get there.