Stellar athlete avoids star syndrome

Tuscaloosa County High's Titus Ryan might be one of the top prospects in the state, but he doesn't suffer from any star syndrome.

Asked what position he enjoyed playing the most, Ryan replied "Running back. I like being able to carry the ball."

But when asked what position he wanted to play at the college level, the 6-2, 195-pound running back or wide receiver said, "No particular position. Wherever I fit in best."

However, that willingness to adapt doesn't mean Ryan lacks confidence. He says his strongest attribute is "My speed, my ability to outrun people." Ryan has been clocked at 4.4 in the 40-yard dash and is believed to be the fastest senior prospect in the state of Alabama.

With a stronger academic record, Ryan might well be considered the top offensive prospect in the state.

Ryan rushed for almost 1,300 yards and 15 scores his senior season, often simply outrunning opposing defenders to the corner.

Ryan has the frame to add weight and remain at tailback in college, but he was also very impressive this summer at Alabama's 7-on-7 passing camp. With his height and speed, Ryan would be equally dangerous at wide receiver.

Ryan is also one of the top high-school sprinters in the state. The speedy athlete has seen action on defense at safety, but his physical tools will likely dictate he end up on offense in college.

His first visit will come on the 18th, when he visits hometown Alabama. The next weekends will have him at Jacksonville State, Mississippi. State, UAB, and Middle Tennessee State.

All of the schools on his visit list are near Tuscaloosa, and there's a reason for that. "I want to stay close to home," Ryan said.

While some recruits look for coaches or other figures for input on where to play, that's not the case with Ryan, who says, "I'll make that decision on my own."

The multitalented star had a humorous take on the chaos of modern recruiting. "What I like the most is the attention. What I hate the most is the attention," he says with a laugh. "Sometimes people make a big deal out of nothing. My friends and family talk about me being on television and things like that."

Ryan plans to take all of his visits before making a final decision, and says he hasn't eliminated any schools from consideration.

EDITOR'S NOTE: If Ryan's qualification status was settled, he would be in tremendous demand throughout the region. The local star could end up signing with Alabama but starting his college career in junior college.


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