I did not make this headline up
I've heard a couple people bust out the comparison of Jake Ryan to Clay Matthews, and there was a discussion in the defensive UFR about future NFLers on our roster. On the surface, the comparison seems fair: Matthews is a hybrid linebacker/pass rusher, who gets into the backfield a lot. You could say the same about Ryan. And of course, the flow is strong in both of them. Obviously, their skill levels are far apart right now, but do we have the next Clay Matthews? I did some research to see.
|Height||Weight||40 yard dash|
|Matthews||6'3"||255 (he weighed in at 240 at the combine)||4.67|
|Ryan||6'3"||242||HS profile says 4.6 (probably at least 4 FAKES out of 5)|
I was actually surprised by this. For some reason, I thought Ryan was undersized. But it looks like Ryan has the build. If he plays through his senior year, he'll probably graduate around 250-260 lb.
|Matthews (Source: USC archives)|
|2005 (RS FR)||12||8 (4 solo)||0||0||0||0||0|
|2006 (RS SO)||13||15 (9 solo)||1.5 (-9)||1||0||0||0|
|2007 (RS JR)||13||17 (15 solo)||3 (-23)||0||2||0||0|
|2008 (RS SR)||13||56 (28 solo)||9 (-59)||4.5||2||2||0|
Interestingly enough, Matthews was an unheralded walk-on at USC. He really only played special teams in his first 3 seasons (though he excelled at that, winning USC's Co-Special Teams Played of the Year in both 2006 and 2007), and wasn't awarded a scholarship until 2006. And it wasn't until his senior season when he started to get consistent time at linebacker. He played alongside Brian Cushing and Ray Mauluga; talk about a scary defense. (Source, Wikipedia.)
|Ryan (Source: MGoBlue)|
|2011 (RS FR)||13||37 (20 solo)||11 (-53)||3||1||2||0|
|2012 (RS SO)||7||52 (34)||8.5 (-45)||3.5||2||0||0|
Jake Ryan has just been nuts this year. He's already surpassed almost all of his numbers from last year... in half the number of games played.
Ryan may turn out to be nothing like Clay Matthews. That's certainly a difficult level of performance to attain. And with the contributions he's already made to the program, I would be just fine with that. But he's got the frame, he's been putting together some nasty numbers... and he's got the flow!
What do you think?
1. Jarvis Jones - Georgia
4. Manti Teo - Notre Dame
11. Johnathan Hankins - Ohio State
15. TAYLOR LEWAN
22. Kawann Short - Purdue
23. Tyler Eifert - Notre Dame
If we lose Lewan this year, we will have an extremely inexperienced line next year. He sure does have a tough decision to make.
There is a marvelous free fluff piece over at ESPN by Rothstein entitled (LINK) The Life of Ryan.
I thought it would surely have been posted previously, but a simple search shows no link.
Unlike many fluff pieces, Rothstein actually interviews real people back in Westlake, Ohio and at St. Ignatius, his high school in Cleveland, providing previously unknown background material.
There are two important general takeaways from the article.
First, the obvious and yet overlooked truism that recruiting is an inexact science. In Ryan's case, he wasn't really out there until his senior year. From the article:
Jake didn't play much linebacker his junior year at St. Ignatius. An injury left him replaced by a senior at linebacker, leaving Jake to special-teams work. Not many colleges knew about Ryan, and he received his first scholarship offer, from Toledo, only after doing some drills at a camp.
When he returned for his senior season at Ignatius, he had grown 2 inches and gained 20 pounds. And he still hit hard. By the middle of his senior season, when he compiled his own highlight tape in the living room of the family home, including doing the editing himself, he had blossomed.
"You looked at it and it was like, 'Oh, my goodness.' After seeing some of those plays and some of those hits and speed and the way he got after it, that's when I was like 'Here he comes.'"
Here at Michigan, we are looking at all these 2014 & 2015 guys, and sometimes forget that there are incredible guys in the class of 2013 who have been overlooked, or who grew late. It's important to be in on good guys early, but it also is important to remember to look at late bloomers.
Second, it is important to have a good network of alumni and coaches out there getting information about guys like Jake to the coaching staff.
His hard-hitting unorthodox nature caught the eye of a former Ohio Wesleyan football player who lived in the Cleveland are, who called one of his former coaches, Bruce Tall, the defensive line coach at Michigan. He told Tall he needed to stop by Ignatius.
Tall did, and then he went out to his car to call his bosses. "I got right back in the car and said, 'Ooh, boy, I've got to show you a guy,' " Tall said. Soon after, Tall returned to Ignatius with Robinson, and they met with Jake. This was the first big college to show interest in him. On Monday, two days after the offer, Jake committed.
Michigan probably would have never known about Jake Ryan outside of that phone call. The coaches can't see everyone, and guys on the ground who see good players make a huge difference.
If you'd like to find out more about Jake as a kid, and how he comes from a family where his brothers, father, and grandfather all played ball, read the article.
TWIS has been posted by our fearless leader. http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2012/10/24/3549424/this-week-in-schadenfreude-west-virginia-mike-valenti
WVU gets the lead, but there's plenty of Sparty freude as well.
Ohio and Oregon have scheduled a home & home in 2020-2021 per 11W. I know this is only slightly related to Michigan, just continues on the thought that Michigan should continue to schedule more matchups against non-directional-Dakota's.
I was wondering if any fellow MGoBloggers or Nebraska fans that follow this site know the best location for visiting fans to tailgate while in Lincoln? Any insight or guidance on where to go would be greatly appreciated. I'd rather have an idea where to park, instead of just guessing.