Of any Eagle in the NFL today, it is hard to argue that any player has had more impact on Boston College Athletics than Matt Ryan. He’s the reigning AP Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year, and the former Rookie of the Year. He’s an undisputed franchise quarterback. But you do not get into the BCI Hall of Fame for your professional achievements.
No, pro performance doesn’t matter to us. But Ryan fully deserves this honor because of his greatness on the field at Alumni Stadium and at stadiums across the ACC. In his first full year as starter in 2006, he led the Eagles to a 9-3 record. He finished that year as an All-ACC first teamer, leading the conference in yards per game. He battled through sprained ankles and broken bones, and led the Eagles into the Power Five on a high note.
Ryan was far from finished. Coming into the ’07 season under a new coach, he sliced through the ACC. He finished his season with over 4,500 yards and 31 touchdowns, and his own iconic moment against Virginia Tech. Down 10-0 with under three minutes to play, Ryan led two touchdown scoring drives against one of the best teams in the nation,
Though the Eagles lost in the ACC championship game, Ryan was rewarded for his excellence. He was a 1st Team All American, winner of the Manning Award and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm, and the ACC Player of the Year. He ended his college career with a 24-21 victory over Michigan State in the Champs Sports Bowl, and went on to be the third overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.
Ryan had his jersey retired by BC Athletics this year (a few years late if you ask me), and it is only fitting that he’s a first ballot BCI Hall of Famer.