JUCO update: Ryan making progress

Considered by the majority of recruiting experts as the most physically talented offensive player in the state last season, after signing with Alabama Titus Ryan began his college career in junior college.

Ryan, 6-2, 195, is currently playing for East Central Community College in Decatur, Mississippi. The speedster started his JUCO career at wide receiver, but moved to running back due to an injury to the starting tailback.

The speed merchant "dotted the i" for the final six games in junior college this year, carrying the football 102 times for 570 yards (5.58 yards per carry) and six touchdowns.

Taking receiving and rushing stats together, Ryan finished the season with 48 points off touchdowns, good enough for third in his league.

Ryan's combination of size and blistering speed would be invaluable in a collegiate offense.

However, easily the best news for Tide fans came on the academic front.

BamaMag.com caught up with his JUCO coach, Terry Underwood to check on Ryan's progress. "Titus can do the work in the classroom," Underwood reported. "All he needed was for someone to push him and for him to simply apply himself."

Timed as fast as 4.30 in the 40-yard dash, Ryan was the fastest prep athlete in the state last season. As a track star in the spring of 2002, the Northport native competed and won races across the state in the 100-meter, 200-meter and dash relays.

Exclusively a track star early in his career, this season marks only Ryan's third year playing football. To this point he's utilized his talent principally carrying the football, often simply outrunning the defense to the corner.

However, Ryan's speed and size would also obviously project perfectly at wide receiver in college, potentially providing the Tide with the legitimate deep threat it has lacked for years.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Without question the Tide coaches are staying in close touch with Ryan and his junior college coach. Re-signing the speedster and adding him to the Tide roster down the road is a key goal for the staff.

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