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Ray Lima

Iowa State
Defensive Line
Liberal Studies


Ray Lima was a first-team Academic All-Big 12 honoree in 2018. He graduated with a 3.27 cumulative GPA, earning his degree in liberal studies, and is currently taking graduate courses. He is a three-time Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll recipient for maintaining a 3.0 GPA or higher in a semester.


Lima is one of the top leaders and has been singled out for changing the culture of the team. He is a two-time team captain and a member of the team’s leadership council. The child of a pastor in Los Angeles, Lima has always been eager to lend a helping hand, and he understands the impact he has on others.

“He’s the entire reason the culture of the football program has turned. Who he is, what he is, what he stands for, you won’t know because you can interview him and he won’t tell you. But I can tell you this: He’s the reason this football program and the culture of this program has turned.” - Head Coach Matt Campbell


Lima is the epitome of the student-athlete, excelling on the field, in the classroom, and making a difference in the community. Lima has served more than 80 hours of community service in his two years as a Cyclone, the highest total of any member of the football team. Some of Lima’s volunteer activities include the following: school read-a-thons, visits to the hospital, Wounded Warrior Project, Special Olympics, nursing home visits, Boys and Girls Club, Dance Marathon, Soles4Souls Shoe Drive and Stay-a-Breast Fundraiser. The team co-captain also led a group of Cyclones to Marshalltown last summer to help clean up after a tornado caused severe damage to the town.


On the field, Lima is one of the best defensive lineman in the nation and one of the key cogs in Iowa State’s resurgence on defense the past two seasons. Lima is a two-time All-Big 12 selection (first-team ESPN and second-team Coaches and AP in 2018; honorable mention in 2017) and was named to the Big 12 Preseason Team this year. As of nomination time, he has started 21 games and recorded 59 tackles and 8.0 TFL in his career. His ability to take on double-teams has hindered his stats but allowed his teammates to make plays. He’s been named to numerous preseason watch lists including the Outland Trophy, Nagurski Trophy, Wuerffel Trophy, AFCA Good Works Team, NFF Campbell Trophy, Lott Impact Award and the Polynesian Player of the Year.