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Photography by George Gojkovich

Working the Line

by Josh Jackson | Men's Book Atlanta magazine | November 9, 2012

When the Atlanta Falcons began this season with an undefeated 8-0 record, defensive lineman Ray Edwards was in familiar territory. In fact, he’s still undefeated… as a professional boxer. When the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement with players expired in 2011, Edwards took the opportunity to begin his professional boxing career, earning a win over T.J. Gibson at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minn.

“I’m still training a lot, boxing-wise,” he says. “It’s something I’m definitely going to continue.”

Edwards, who signed a five-year deal with the Falcons last year, has always thought of himself as more than just a football player, and his many ventures back that up. His fashion company True Ink launched with a line of T-shirts and plans to extend into outerwear and accessories soon. His modeling company 1050 already offers a Ray Edwards calendar and hopes to provide a platform for those in the fashion world to connect, and The Halo Project he started helps support inner-city athletic programs around Atlanta. “I want to help others reach their goals in life,” he says. “For underprivileged kids who can’t afford to play sports, I want to be that supporting hand that they need.”

For a man who’s reaching all his goals, so far, Edwards has enjoyed his move from Minneapolis to Atlanta. “I love the hot weather and the culture here,” he says. “I can ride my motorcycle all year-round!”

EDWARDS' GUIDE TO ATLANTA
The Cincinnati native has quickly taken to his new town. Here, some of his favorite finds:

Shopping
Saks Fifth Avenue, Phipps Plaza, for cologne. “I wear Bond No. 9 New York and Clive Christian.”

DTLR, South Dekalb Mall, for clothes. “They have most of the hip-hop clothing and shoes.”

Dining
Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, Marietta. “First place I tried fried alligator, and I’ve been hooked since.”

Houston’s Restaurant, Buckhead. “The warm five-nut brownies are off the chain, and they have the best coleslaw.”

Nightlife
Uptown Comedy Corner, Downtown. “I love comedians. Everybody thinks they can be funny, but not everyone is.”

Philips Arena, downtown. “I’m not really a going-out person, but I love to see live music—Adele, R. Kelly, Jay-Z, Wale, J. Cole.”

Catch Edwards when the Falcons wrap up the regular season against the Buccaneers on Dec. 30, rayedwardsjr.com