No Time for Reflection

DeMeco Ryans was considered by some to be Alabama's most draftable underclassmen of 2005, but with a four-hour exam coming Friday, the rising senior star linebacker has little time to ponder what his life might be like if he had turned pro.

"I wouldn't say I consider it too much. I just root for our guys to do well. My time will come next year and I'll be in their shoes, hopefully getting drafted pretty high. My course to held lead this team to the national title," DeMeco Ryans said.

"If an NFL team wants you they pick you. You can't control it much. Right now, I can control if my team is ready to compete at the highest level and not slack off. My goal is nothing less than the national title."

Asked if he expected all of his teammates to be in Tuscaloosa throughout the summer to work towards that goal, Ryans said, "They better be here all summer. They've got to work out."

The workouts figure to be more of an individual endeavor, but that's not so at Alabama.

"Everyone might be doing the same thing and if one guy drops the bar or quits we start over. If one guy messes up the whole thing starts over. It's just like a football play. If one guy messes up and jumps offsides, everyone on the team suffers the penalty," Ryans said.

Kent Johnston's strength and conditioning program is four days per week alternating between upper and lower body workouts.

Wednesdays there are not formal sessions, but Ryans works out on his own. He's had trouble with hamstrings in the past so he does exercises to prevent a pull, he said.

Ryans, 6-2, 235 pounds, is considered a quiet person by many of his friends and teammates. But Ryans has established himself as someone who can be vocal at the right times.

"When I say something all they guys respect me enough to listen and do what I say. But if you do too much talking, they might think you're talking too much and not doing enough."

Ryans is a business management major and a good student. He has been named to multiple scholastic/athletic watch lists in past weeks, including the 2005 Lott Trophy Watch List (named after 49er great Ronnie Lott), where he is one of 42 top defensive players in the nation on the list, and an Arthur Ashe, Jr., Sports Scholar for 2005. Ryans was the only football player from the SEC named to the first team.

"I've never though too much about (being on the awards lists)" he said. "People congratulate me and I'm coureous and say 'Thank you.' I don't want to downplay any of the awards because I'm very appreciative, but I'm not caught up in it because you can lose focus."

Ryans, a three-time Academic All-SEC honoree, carries a 3.46 cumulative grade point average in Management and is scheduled to graduate in December, completing his graduation requirements in just seven semesters.

He was also chosen as the top student-athlete from the College of Commerce and Business Administration and was selected a Jason, an honorary group of the top male academic students on campus.

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