Ezzie Raulls messed up. Badly. And he knows it.
For the longest time, though, he wanted to forget it. He wanted to bury the fact that he -- a Tuscaloosa kid turned University of Alabama football player who had caught the eye of then-coach Mike Price -- threw away his career and spent more than six years in prison after pleading guilty to his role in an armed robbery.
"I was ashamed," Raulls said, "because I made such huge mistakes."
Now though, he wants everyone to know -- not just what he did, but what he's doing now: As in, he's out (since November of last year). He's working (as an assistant manager at Gold's Gym in Tallahassee, Fla.). He has goals (he's getting back to school for his bachelor's and ultimately wants a master's in sports management from Florida State).
That's why he's putting together a documentary about his life. Encouraged by friend/manager Walik Gibson (who works with NFLers Le'Ron McClain and Terrence Cody), Raulls connected with filmmaker Chuck Star (who also has worked with McClain) to get a promo reel on film (warning: some language in that clip).
Raulls said they're planning on finishing the film early next year and hope to get it in front of as many people as possible.
Because now that he's comfortable telling his story, Raulls wants to relay two messages.
For those who are on the right path: "To keep going, to make wise decisions, to be careful, and also [lift up] the ones that have messed up."
And to those, like him, who have messed up: "You don't have to accept that as being the end. You can still do something about it."