The Best of the B1G, #7 Jake Ryan

Jake Ryan (2012-09-15)

#47 Jake Ryan
School: The School Up North
Position: Linebacker
Class: Redshirt Junior
Hometown: Westlake, Ohio
Height: 6-3
Weight: 242 lbs.

Why He’s Important to the School Up North’s Success: Ryan is the best defender on the entire Wolverine roster and one of the best in the Big 10. He can be an absolute nightmare for quarterbacks and offensive linemen. Jake Ryan was one of few the good players who slipped out of Ohio and decided to play for the school up north (with Urban around this will not be the norm).

During the 2012 season, Ryan racked up 88 tackles (21st in the league) and 16 tackles for loss. Ryan also had 5.0 sacks and 5 forced fumbles. In terms of how his stats ranked in the Big 10, he was third overall in total tackles for loss. He also led the league in fumbles forced per game.

Most importantly Ryan is one of only five returning starters for the Wolverine defense and his presence (or lack thereof) will certainly make an impact on their season.

Career Highlight:

In terms of Ryan’s big career moment, I would say his 22 yard tackle for loss against Virginia Tech in the 2012 Sugar Bowl would be it. Take a look below:

How Ryan Stacks Up Against His Competition

Ryan is one of the best linebackers in the Big 10, right with Ryan Shazier and Max Bullough of Michigan State. Unfortunately for Ryan, many people tend to overlook his talent and he seems to be forgotten about. This was evident when Big 10 coaches and media revealed their 2012 All-Big 10 teams. The coaches didn’t name him to the first or second team, only garnering an honorable mention. The media named him to the second team. (Side note: That was some of the worst voting I have ever seen. It was certainly politics at its finest. Several players from several teams got screwed.)

Ryan did not make any preseason All-Big 10 teams this year. This isn’t because he’s being looked over again. Ryan suffered a torn ACL during practice in March and was originally ruled out indefinitely. Coach Brady ‘Walrus’ Hoke has since came out and said Ryan could return as soon as the middle of October. It would certainly be ideal for the Wolverines because it would be the beginning of a brutal stretch on the schedule (Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern and Ohio State). I’m sure Wolverine fans everywhere are crossing their fingers Ryan makes a return this season. Meanwhile, all of us in Buckeye nation will hope Ryan takes all of the time in the world to heal.

Why is Ryan Ranked (Only) No. 7?

It’s basically for the two reasons that I have already been mentioned above: overlooked and injured. If Ryan was fully healthy he would’ve probably been first team All-Big 10 and would’ve made a few awards’ watch lists. While he was overlooked by many last season, I don’t think that would’ve been the case this season. This injury will continue to cause him to be ‘under the radar’ to the average fan. While I feel bad he suffered a serious injury, I also remind myself he plays for the main enemy. If Ryan Shazier suffered a similar injury, their fans wouldn’t be shedding any tears either.

While Ryan is slated to return in October, don’t be surprised if you wouldn’t see him on the field at all this season. He suffered a serious injury and it’s uncommon to recover from this type of injury so quickly. If Ryan somehow returns this season, don’t overlook him like everyone else has in the past. I know quarterbacks around the Big 10 haven’t and won’t overlook his talents.

Previously on MotSaG’s Best of the B1G
#8 Carlos Hyde
#9 James White
#10 Trevor Siemian/Kain Colter
Best of the B1G, #15-11
Best of the B1G, #20-16
Best of the B1G, #25-21