Ball State Class of '08: Ryan Hartke continues to highlight each player in the class of 2008 and doing a brief scouting report on each of the 23 players in the class (21 new players signed and 2 greyshirts). Today we have the twenty-second of those 23 installments.

Ryan Hartke, 6-4 205 LB, St. Henry, OH (St. Henry)

What he brings: Build, speed & athleticism. Ryan Hartke was a high school WR that moonlighted as a LB. But at 6-4 and with a body that can hold at least another 25-30 pounds, Hartke was a great pickup as a greyshirt. Ryan has better than average speed for his position and good instincts already, despite not playing LB a great deal up to this point. Ryan reminds me a great deal of Bryant Haines, not only because both are tall, lanky kids, but because both made position changes and brought with them the athleticism from that position.

Areas of improvement: Learning his craft, playing in space and pass coverage. He already has been practicing with the Cardinals, thanks to his greyshirt, so that has to help Ryan quite a bit. He played some in high school at LB, but there has to be a lot to learn in making the jump to being full time at the position. We know that Ryan can make plays against the run from seeing him at spring camp, where he will need to make strides is in run/pass recognition and also when he is forced to pick up a TE or RB in pass coverage. grade: Ryan's athleticism is good and he should be able to pick up the position quite well. I expect Ryan to eventually turn into a solid starter and have a very good career in a Cardinal uniform.

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