ASTATE BIRTHDATE - Ryan Aplin - May 8

Happy Birthday No. 16. Former Arkansas State Red Wolves coach Steve Roberts' claim was true. "I told some people, after his freshmen year, when he was finished, he would be the best quarterback in school history," said Roberts, when asked about . "There was just something about him. He had ‘it'."

Ryan Aplin, who led ASU to 20 victories the past two season and back-to-back conference titles, turns 23 today.

Ryan Aplin's final numbers on his career: 10,753 yards passing, 67 touchdown passes. His final game at home, 19 of 21 for 238 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 64 yards on six carries and another TD. He finished with 1,756 yards rushing and scored 31 touchdowns. Oh yeah, one other career start, one reception for 23 yards and a touchdown.

No one has played a larger role, or a more impressive one, in the Red Wolves' resurgence than Aplin. You consider in his four years as a starter, he has worked with three different offensive coordinators, and three different head coaches. Yet, he adapted, and has led the team to 25 victories in a little more than three seasons as a starter.

A three-time All-Conference player and twice Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year, Aplin's journey to Jonesboro is one of those classic stories of where ASU was looking at another player on film and kept seeing this quarterback making play after play. They got more film, and offered him a scholarship before he ever made a visit. He committed on the spot. A-State was his only top level offer.

"When it gets down to it and you funnel it all out, it comes back to Ryan Aplin," defensive coordinator John Thompson said during the bowl practices for the Bowl. "There's no question about it. We've got other leaders on our football team, but the leader and the guy is Ryan Aplin."

Ryan was not drafted in the recent NFL draft but has had tryouts with Cleveland and Washington.

He was also recently engaged to Victoria Price.