There are approximately 1.1 million high-school football players in America. About 6.5% of that number – approximately 71,000 – will play in the NCAA. A little less than 6,000 of those players will receive a scholarship from a power five school.
The numbers are worth repeating, because simply making a power five roster doesn’t always feel like the accomplishment that it is. However, it’s almost an unbelievable achievement for many high school athletes and their parents. This includes John Cory, father of Pine Richland’s three-star offensive and defensive lineman Ryan, who knew his son was always a great football player as a child but didn’t know if the power five level was achievable.
” I don’t know if I thought that,” said John after he was asked if he thought Ryan would make a P-5 program when he was a child. “He was a good football player when he was younger, but a lot has to go right to get to the point where he is now. And he worked really hard to get there.”
Ryan is an offensive line commitment to Wisconsin, one of the largest Power-Five programs in the country. The Pine Richland senior dreams of one day playing in the NFL. Another incredible challenge, with only about 1,700 roster spots available, though one that increases with being on a Power-Five roster.
Approximately 70% of NFL players attended a Power-Five school. Most of those players come from the larger programs too, such as Wisconsin. Ryan’s odds improve by going to a larger Power-Five program. However, that isn’t the only reason he chose the school.
“It just feels like home,” said Ryan. “I really like the environment up there, the culture. I went on an official visit, and it felt like everything I ever wanted.”
Ryan plans on taking another visit to Wisconsin when they host Ohio State on October 28th. He’s excited to become a Badger, where he said he expects to play an interior offensive line position.
For now, though, his mind is set on his senior year. He’s set a goal for both himself and his team. His main goal is to win a WPIAL title and make the state playoffs, a goal that is certainly attainable for perennial content Pine Richland.
His individual goal is to score a touchdown, a feat difficult to do given his status as a lineman. Although not unattainable as Ryan has already come close in previously.
“I just want to score,” said Ryan. “Last year I recovered a fumble and took it 50 yards from the goal line, but I was too slow.”
All of these goals, from a defensive touchdown to making the NFL, require hard work, discipline, and commitment. Traits that John highlighted by describing Ryan as someone who “plays through to the whistle” and is a “great teammate” off-the-field.
Ryan credits his parents and coaches for instilling those traits in him, as well as being a great football player. His parents return the sentiment, by saying how proud they are of him for being in the position that he is in which they attribute to Ryan’s hard work ethic.
” I couldn’t be any happier for him,” said John. “I’m really proud of him and he’s worked really hard to get here. So, my mom and I are really, really proud of him.”
Ryan is committed to his dream of playing in the NFL but does have a back-up plan to the NFL. He hasn’t picked his major yet, but said he’d like to be a sports trainer if he were to not make the NFL.
In the meantime, he is doing what he can to help Pine Richland win another WPIAL title as well as pushing towards his dream of being in the NFL.