Draw comparisons to New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady and people are going to take notice.
Not many pundits had Boston College’s Matt Ryan listed as an elite prospect before the 2007 college football season, but after winning the 2007 Johnny Unitas Award and the Manning Award his senior season, everyone knows who “Matty Ice” is now.
As a junior in 2006, Ryan was plagued by a foot injury that held him back from competing at a high level. He still finished the season with respectable numbers, throwing for 2,942 yards and 15 touchdowns, but nowhere near the kind of stats that make NFL scouts take notice.
Finally healthy at the start of his senior season, Ryan quickly emerged as not only a good pro prospect, but also a Heisman Trophy candidate. His calm, cool nature in guiding the Eagles to two touchdowns in less than three minutes to beat ACC rival Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on Oct. 25 officially put him on the map.
Ryan also had amazing performances against Wake Forest, where he threw for 408 yards and five touchdown passes, as well as Georgia Tech, completing 30 for 44 passes for 435 yards and one touchdown.
On Nov. 24, Ryan surpassed former BC alum Doug Flutie for most passing touchdowns in a single season by an Eagles quarterback with 28. He finished the year with 31 passing touchdowns and 4,507 yards – the kind of numbers that definitely make NFL scouts take notice.
While he didn’t win the Heisman his senior year, Ryan nevertheless was outstanding and has now catapulted to the top of the draft. Not even considered a first rounder at the beginning of the year, Ryan is currently considered a top 10 pick, and might wind up being the first player taken overall.
Ryan is known mostly for his outstanding intangibles, including being a film buff and a “gym rat.” He often receives praise for his leadership, the way he reads a defense and his solid technique in the pocket. He’s also very dedicated to the sport and has demonstrated high character.
Oh yeah – and the whole Tom Brady comparison thing. As if that’s a big compliment.
Ryan on the Web
Official Boston College Player Bio: Matt Ryan
The official website for the Boston College Eagles recaps Ryan’s yearly accomplishments, as well as listing his stats and collegiate achievements.
Matt Ryan’s Wikipedia Page
Find an in-depth bio as well as interesting articles about Ryan at his Wikipedia page.
“Matt Ryan leads BC on their final drive to beat Hokies”
It was the drive that officially made Matt Ryan a Heisman Trophy candidate. Check out highlights of Ryan and the Eagles’ game-winning drive to top Virginia Tech in 2007.
NFL Draft Countdown Player Profile: Matt Ryan
Learn about Ryan’s strengths, weakness and what scouts are saying about the NFL prospect at Scott Wright’s NFL Draft Countdown draft site.
Latest on Ryan
Even though they considered Glenn Dorsey with the third overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons couldn't pass on a franchise quarterback and took Ryan to help fans forget about Michael Vick.
News and Commentary
Matt Ryan to Atlanta - some love it, some unimpressed
Discuss the Falcons' selection of Matt Ryan at the Scores Report.
Ryan gives Falcons hope, new identity
Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com writes how Matt Ryan will change the misfourtanes of the Falcons' organization and bring new hope to Atlanta.
Blank looking to sell Ryan's hope
Jeff Schultz of the AJC writes how Falcons' owner Arthur Blank hopes that fans will flock to the Georgia Dome because of new quarterback Matt Ryan.
Manning Award goes to Boston College quarterback Ryan
In 2007, Matt Ryan won the Manning Award, the only award given to quarterbacks that considers bowl performance.
BC’s low-key Ryan can’t be overlooked any longer
USA Today writes about Matt Ryan’s rise during the 2007 college football season.
Q &A: Boston College QB Matt Ryan
The New York Times sat down with Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan during the 2007 college football season to talk about various topics.
BC QB Ryan prepares for end – and beginning
The Boston Globe writes about Ryan’s final game of his collegiate career.
On Boston College head coach Jeff Jagodzinski:
He’s a really personable guy. He’ll get to know you fast and you’ll develop a relationship with him quickly. I think he’s a great head coach, but think he’s an even better person than he is a head coach. He’s got his values and his morals in the right spot. Ultimately I think that’s going to lead to a lot of success for BC in the future. It’s been a lot of fun playing for him so far.
On leaving Boston College for the NFL:
"It's going to be difficult leaving this place. For a football player, it's different; it's not like it is for other students where you go home for a month during the holidays and are home for three months in the summer. I have been in Boston for five years, taking classes, working out, just being here. I haven't been away from those guys in the locker room for more than a week in five years. I'm going to miss a lot of those guys."
On Boston College fans:
“I think there’s always been a contingent of Boston College faithful fans. I think our fan base is strong and they’ve done a really good job of supporting us over the years. Recently, I think the support has gotten stronger. I think there’s plenty of people taking notice of what we’ve done as a team. It’s still early. I think we need to win a lot more games for people to really take notice.”