Former college football standout, Erik Lora, returns to Columbus


Shortly after being cut by the Minnesota Vikings in training camp, Columbus Alumnus Erik Lora made his way back to his alma mater to begin his coaching career.

Lora graduated from Columbus in 2009 and continued his playing career at the collegiate level at Eastern Illinois University. At Eastern Illinois, Lora had a successful career setting multitudes of individual records and achieving numerous amounts of athletic awards. The two-time Walter Payton Award Finalist and two-time 1st-team All-American, set the single-season record for most receptions in NCAA FCS history with 136 catches in 2012 and in 2013, he managed to set the Ohio Valley Conference single season record for most receiving touch downs with a total of 19. In 2012, Lora won the OVC Male Athlete of the Year Award and the OVC Offensive Player of the Year award. In 2013 he finished 4th in voting for the Walter Payton Award and was named the Preseason FCS Player of the Year.

Lora finished his polished college football career with 332 receptions, 4,106 receiving yards and 35 TDs. With an impressive résumé at the collegiate level, Lora got the attention of many professional scouts and was predicted to be drafted late in the 2014 NFL Draft, but was passed up by all 32 teams. Lora did find a way to make it onto an NFL Roster. The Minnesota Vikings signed him via free agency. Lora made it through the first three pre-season games without being cut by the team, but in week four he found his way off the roster. Although Lora did not get the full experience at the professional level; he has kept a positive attitude and is looking forward to another opportunity to compete and fulfill his lifelong dream of playing in the National Football League.

Upon his return to Miami, Lora wanted to continue on his path; he decided to begin coaching with his former high school team. Coach Lora brings a unique quality to the Explorers coaching staff by having NFL experience and college football success. Many of the players on the team have looked up to him during his time at Eastern Illinois and in Minnesota, including senior wide receiver Austin Maloney. “Erik is an inspiration to many of us to want to be the best,” said Maloney.

Lora is excited to be back at Columbus coaching and is starting to feel the energy around the program once again. Lora said in an interview regarding his team “I am getting the Columbus feel and love again. C-Pride!” Lora is now with the Junior Varsity wide receivers and is hoping to instill a competitive work ethic in them as they finish off the remainder of their season.

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