Tough to Cover (Jon Ryan)
November 29, 2010 6:04 PM
Jon Ryan set a school record with 21 touchdown catches this season. He has been one of USF's biggest weapons for years and now that he's a senior we're doing something we should have done a long time ago. We're making him our Taco John's Athlete of the Week.
For four seasons, USF quarterbacks have been able to drop back and throw to Jon Ryan. A contributor since he was a freshman, Ryan has racked up more than 3000 yards, nearly 200 receptions and close to 50 touchdowns as a Cougar.
"It's just been really exciting to have a receiver like that to throw to and the way he runs his routes," said quarterback Jon Eastman. "He'll twist a guy three or four different times on one route and that's huge."
"He's a superfreak," said USF defensive back Dan Schmeichel. "He's impossible to cover, he's got great hands and the biggest thing is he's a true leader on the offense. I mean, he really gets the guys going and it seems like when he has a big day, you know, we're gonna have a big day."
As a senior, Ryan has had many big days. In fact, he set the school's all-time single season record for touchdown receptions, passing his old coach Kalen DeBoer.
"I wanted to see if he would call me or text me or something and he did," said Ryan. "I thought he'd crack a joke or something, but he was very supportive."
Ryan seems to score in all sorts of ways. The preferred route seems to be the corner fade in the endzone, which Ryan has mastered this season. But he's also been known to break a big play as well.
"I think people are deceived by him," said Head Coach Jed Stugart. "I don't think they realize how fast he is. They think he's tall, but he can get by guys quick."
Ryan has been effective for four years, and he's been a target of three great quarterbacks.
He's won National Championships with Chad Cavender and Lorenzo Brown. Now he's hoping to do the same with Jon Eastman.
"It would mean so much," Ryan said. "Anything less would be almost heartbreaking I would say."
For a guy who's only lost one game in his entire college career, that's not an overstatement. Ryan understands that his career has been special. And he wants it to end with a win.
"Being it's my senior year, it means a lot more every minute."