Eastern’s Ryan Super Bowl Participant

Eastern’s Ryan Super Bowl Participant Eastern’s Ryan The Latest South Jersey Super Bowl Participant

Once again South Jersey had representation in the Super Bowl, and another local winner emerged. The local participant was Logan Ryan, a former star at Eastern who is a cornerback for the New England Patriots.

The Patriots won among the most exciting games not only in Super Bowl history, but sports history, beating the Seattle Seahawks, 28-24.

Ryan had his ups and downs in the game. He had sensational coverage the first time he was challenged in the Super Bowl, but with two seconds left in the first half, Seattle completed a touchdown pass to 6-foot-5 receiver Chris Matthews with Ryan guarding him.

Ryan finished with one tackle in the game.

That TD catch by Matthews withstanding, this has been quite a ride for Ryan. He isn’t a starter but sees significant time in what is his second season.

Ryan enjoyed a stellar career at Rutgers and decided to bypass his senior season and opt for the NFL draft.

He was a third round pick in the 2013 draft the 83rd overall player chosen and signed a four-year $2.7 million contract.

At Rutgers, he redshirted his first season, was a reserve his second, and then became a two-year starter. As a redshirt sophomore he had 67 tackles, three interceptions and 17 passes defensed. As a junior he had 94 tackles, four interceptions and 21 passes defensed.

In each of his first two NFL seasons, Ryan played in all 16 regular season games. This year he had 33 tackles, 13 assists, and two interceptions, while adding six passes defended.

He became the 27th player who attended a school in the seven-county South Jersey area to make an appearance in a Super Bowl.

That shows the talent this area has produced. The first local athlete in a Super Bowl was David Robinson, who was part of the first two winning Green Bay Packers teams in Super Bowls I and II.

Recently, Audubon’s Joe Flacco was the Super Bowl MVP in leading the Baltimore Ravens to the title over the San Francisco 49ers with a 34-31 victory in Super Bowl XLVII. In addition, Bryant McKinnie, a Woodbury graduate, was a starting offensive lineman for the Ravens.

Flacco completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, with an impressive 124.2 passer rating.

He was the second South Jersey player to earn a Super Bowl MVP. Rancocas Valley graduate Franco Harris was the MVP in Super Bowl IX. Harris rushed for 158 yards and a touchdown in 34 carries in Pittsburgh’s 16-6 win over the Minnesota Vikings. He scored on a 9-yard run to increase Pittsburgh’s lead to 9-0.

Harris played in and won four Super Bowls, so out of 49 Super Bowls, two of the MVPs have come from South Jersey. And with Ryan as the latest winner, it just shows that South Jersey has constantly produced players who have competed in football’s biggest game.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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