Ryan Brown has seen adversity. He's battled injury. He's adjusted to coaching changes. He's coped with a substitution pattern that kept him on the bench. Now this fifth year senior guard wants to lead.

"I want to be part of a group that comes out here and works harder than anyone else on the team. It feels good knowing I can be one of the leaders of this team." As a leader, he understands the importance of being optimistic and getting the best out of everyone. "We have a lot of really young players, but I know they're going to step up. It always happens. People are going to come in and make plays."

The offensive line is really a team within a team. To realize their potential, they must work together, and Ryan is looking forward to having a number of his teammates contribute next season, unlike last year when five guys got the bulk of the snaps. "Having a number of guys playing will definitely help. It'll help out the whole line. We've got a lot of guys who are going to play. It's going to keep guys fresh, and in the course of twelve games, it's going to be better for the team because we're close and know each guy can get the job done."

In an age when many collegiate lines average 300 pounds, Ryan is an exception. He stands only 6' 2" and weighs 287 pounds, small by today's standards. However, Ryan tackles that issue with his usual optimism. "My size actually helps me out more than some of the other guys. I can stay lower than the defense, and it can work to my advantage."

Since coming to Cincinnati from Strongsville, Ohio, Ryan has had four different offensive line coaches, but he seems to have really connected with Coach Roushar. "I couldn't ask for a better coach. He's come in here, and we've been taught so much already. He's an incredible coach."

For many high schoolers, playing college football is a dream. That fact is not lost on Brown. "I love being here at Cincinnati, playing in front of these fans. We hope we can get even more fans, but it's great being a college football player."

Because Ryan lives near the Mecca of professional football, Cleveland, Ohio, I had to know if he ever considered defecting to the Bengals. "I'd say there's no way. A bunch of my buddies are Bengals' fans, and only a few guys on the team are Browns' fans. We have some pretty good wars about it."

That a boy, Ryan. Go Browns!

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