Zack Orr

Taking after his father, Zack Orr represents the adage: like father like son. Orr was born into a family of footballers, all who have taken after their father, Terry Orr a player so memorable he is still talked about by Washington Redskins fans. Born in Fairfax, VA, Orr’s history highlights his achievements both on the field and off the field. For one, he was a standout at powerhouse De Soto High School in Texas, yet received few college offers. Orr later ended up attending a small university in North Texas. His greatness on the field is marked by his achievements earlier in his career, where he had a career high of: 123 tackles in high school and 365 in college. These numbers became a standard for others to achieve. Later, Orr signed with the Ravens as an undrafted rookie in 2014 after speaking with Ravens scout, Lonnie Young, an linebackers coach Don Martindale. Orr became a special team player as a rookie and broke into the defense near the end of his sophomore year. Last season, his stock skyrocketed. Orr’s 132 tackles were tied for eighth most in the NFL; he also made three interceptions and forced one fumble. At the end of the season Orr was named a second-team All-Pro.

Orr has attained considerable success and popularity in his career contrary to what others have expected. He has remained down to earth and his humility has been cited as one of the virtues that has propelled his career so rapidly. In fact, his defensive ability became the backbone of his team that later ranked him as the second best player in his team. Despite all this success and dedication to the team, his schoolwork did not drop. Orr was a success both in the field and in class. Furthermore, he continues to succeed by sharing his words with aspiring footballers and even other athletes.

“You have to stay focused and you can’t procrastinate,” Orr states. “After you get out of practice, you have to be disciplined to get your homework done instead of going out and hanging with friends. I believe you can do those things, but only if you are disciplined.”

After his successful season, Orr announced early retirement due to a spinal conditions. The Ravens congenital back condition was discovered after an injury in Week 16 during the Pittsburgh Steelers game in 2016.

“His doctors told him that less than 1 percent of people are born with his condition, in which one of his upper vertebra wasn't totally formed, which left openings. He unknowingly played 15 years of football with it, starting when he was 9 years old, and never had a problem.”

“That’s why, as he made his announcement, Orr felt more lucky than sad”

“I’m blessed and thankful that I’m able to walk away from the game in good health.” Still, it is a tragic twist of fate for a former undrafted rookie who managed to rise and become a starter and key player for the Baltimore’s defense/

Currently, Orr plans to get into coaching now that his playing days are over. He’d like to find a role with the Ravens, or could return back home to Texas. Both Coach Harbaugh and Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees state that they are open to Orr coaching for them in the future. Harbaugh added that any organization would be lucky to have him.

Orr really insists and advises dedication and balance. This is clearly evident from his successful career and overall humility.