Chris Rainey – Pittsburgh Steelers


Chris Rainey (born March 2, 1988) is an American football running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Florida, and was a member of Florida’s BCS National Championship team in 2009. The Steelers selected him in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Rainey was born in Lakeland, Florida, the son of a single mother, and was raised, in part, by his grandmother. He attended Lakeland High School, where he became a standout running back for the Lakeland Dreadnaughts high school football team. During his high school years, he lived with the family of twin brothers Maurkice Pouncey and Mike Pouncey, and all three were standout members of the Dreadnaughts football team. As a senior in 2006, he led his team with 2,478 yards rushing thirty-two touchdowns—including fifteen touchdown runs of fifty yards or more—and helped lead the Lakeland Dreadnaughts to their third consecutive Florida Class 5A state championship and second straight USA Today national championship. Following his senior season, he was a U.S. Army high school All-American and an all-state selection by the Florida Sports Writers Association, and finished his prep career with more than 7,000 all-purpose yards and ninety touchdowns. Rainey is the younger brother of former XFL and NFL running back Rod Smart.

Rainey accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for coach Urban Meyer and coach Will Muschamp’s Florida Gators football teams from 2007 to 2011. After injuring his shoulder as a true freshman in 2007, he was redshirted. He was a member of the Gators’ 2008 team that won the 2008 SEC Championship Game and the 2009 BCS National Championship Game. During his career as a Gator, he played in fifty-two games, compiled 2,464 yards and thirteen touchdowns on 396 rushing attempts, 795 yards and six touchdowns on sixty-nine receptions, and 454 return yards on eighteen kickoffs. On special teams, he holds the team career record for blocked kicks. Following his senior season in 2011, his fellow Gators recognized him as the team’s most valuable player. As as freshman, he was also a 100-meter dash runner for the Florida Gators men’s track and field team, and received All-American honors as a member of the Gators’ third-place relay team in the 4×100-meter event at the 2008 NCAA national outdoor track and field championships. Rainey did not participate in track as a sophomore. As a junior in 2010, the Florida Gators men’s 4×100-meter relay team, including Rainey, Jeremy Hall, Terrell Wilks and Jeff Demps, won the NCAA championship in the event with a winning time of 39.04 seconds. The quartet received All-American honors for their first-place finish.

The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Rainey in the fifth round, 159th overall pick, of the 2012 NFL Draft, and the team announced he had signed a four-year contract on May 6, 2012.