OverThePylon is proud as can be to bring you the next installment of chatting with our future Cardinal rockstars. Off the heels of interviews with Ethan Buckles and Eric Williams, OTP was able to touch base with Connor Ryan, incoming freshman and soon to be household name as a wide receiver for the Cardinals.
Ryan hails from St. Ignatius outside of Cleveland, where he was a member of the most recent state championship team. Ryan has all the physical attributes, at 6'2", 185lbs, while running a 4.59 40-yard dash. The fact that this young man is one of the top wide receivers in a football rich state while playing for a football powerhouse, bodes exceptionally well for future success...
OverThePylon: Can you sort of recap your experience getting recruited to play Division 1 college football and which BSU coaches were your chief recruiters? What were some of the schools that showed major interest? What were the schools you considered heading to?
Connor Ryan: Getting recruited to play football at a Division 1 college was a dream come true. I love football and playing in college has been a dream of mine since I was a kid. My chief recruiters were coach Parrish and when coach Hoke left coach Lynch stepped in. Both recruited me very well. The schools that showed major interest were mostly all the MAC's, Virginia, and Northwestern.
OTP: With the wide receiver position sort of a crowded place, do you anticipate being able to play and contribute right away? Is redshirting something that's being considered?
CR: I was recruited for a reason and that was to contribute right away. I fully anticipate to work hard on the off season and become a major factor in the offense this year. I was always told that they needed me to step up and become a player along the lines of Briggs. As of now I have not been told anything along the lines of red shirting. But I am going to work hard enough to where I don't have to.
OTP: Give us a well known wide receiver that you would compare yourself to. Additionally, what sort of wide receiver do you admire or idolize?
CR: I would compare myself to Wes Welker because he is a very polished receiver. He is a great route runner, he can also be a possession receiver, and the next play he could beat the DB deep with his speed. I idolize Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzales. He went to my high school and coached me at a few practices and games. My goal is to work as hard as he did and become just as successful.
OTP: When Coach Hoke was transitioning out of that role in Ball State, what was it like as a recruit? Were you concerned about the direction of the program or the ability to maintain success?
CR: When coach Hoke left I was shocked and confused on what to do. I was worried he would take the whole coaching staff. So I waited a few days. When coach Parrish was announced as the next head coach I was thrilled. I was the first one he called right after his press conference and I knew right then that Ball State's success would be maintained.
OTP: This incoming recruiting class has been widely heralded as the best class in years at BSU. Have you had any contact with other incoming recruits? Is the class going to gel?
CR: I have met many of the recruits and I think that this class with definitely mesh. This class has a chance to be something special, but at the same time for us to be successful we are going to have to work just as hard as the classes before us.
OTP: Most of our readers know quite a bit about your football prowess on the field. Any hobbies or talents off the field that would surprise some folks?
CR: I like to fish.
From the readers...
Readers: Are you training on campus right now? If not, when will you be training?
CR: I am on campus right now. I arrived Friday, June 12th. I am living with Kelly Page, Briggs Orsbon, Kyle Hoke, Steve Schott, and Scott Kovanda.
Readers: Has there been any discussion as to what receiver you'll be playing?
CR: As of now X and Z have been mentioned to me.
Readers: What are you looking forward to the most about BSU?
CR: I'm looking forward to playing with the older guys on the team that have put so much work and effort towards this football team making it so successful.
Readers: What was his experience like playing for one of the best high school programs in the country at St. Iggy? What is his favorite memory from that experience?
CR: Playing for Saint Ignatius was a dream of mine as a kid. Every year at Ignatius we are expected to win a state championship. It was really nice to win one my senior year and end a seven year drought. My favorite memory was probably winning the state championship and holding the trophy up with my teammates and having my brother on the team made it that much better.
Readers: What lead him to choose Ball State over his other offers?
CR: I chose Ball State over my other offers because there is a chance for immediate impact as a freshman, which I wanted to take advantage of. Also, coach Parrish has been with me the whole time and he has been honest with me and I feel that he reminds me a lot of my high school coach, which made me feel a lot more comfortable with my decision.
Readers: Where does he see himself fitting in next season on a team with a lot of young WR's?
CR: There are so many good receivers on the team that I look up to. I am trying to learn from these guys each day. I think I would fit in as a deep threat and a deeper possession guy, which has been hinted towards me already.
And finally, one last one from OTP...
OTP: Anything to say to the Cardinals fans who will have the privilege of watching you over the next few years, Connor?
CR: I want to tell the fans that Ball State football needs their support and with their support there is no reason that we can't win a MAC championship within the next few years.
Big, big, big major league thanks to Connor for taking the time to chat a bit with us and let the readers see what a great young man he is. This recruiting class will be something extremely special if their on field successes and personalities are even half of what they are off. Good luck, Connor!