GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Seven months ago, former Gators All-American safety Matt Elam inked a four-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens that included a $3.3 million signing bonus, plenty of money to clear the shoe department at a sporting goods store.
A first-round pick, Elam returned to UF in January after his rookie season to continue working toward his degree.
However, Elam is doing more than going to school. He is working at a Finish Line store in the Oaks Mall.
Elam said he has wanted to own a sporting goods store since he was a kid and saw this as an opportunity to gain some valuable experience while back in Gainesville taking classes.
He works at the store as a part-time sales associate and puts in about 20 hours per week.
"I just need to get retail knowledge," Elam said. "That’s basically what I’m doing. I’m getting that knowledge for when it’s time. Everybody was surprised when I started. They were like, ‘Why? You got enough money.’ But it’s not about the money. It’s just me building."