Radcliff Set to Begin New Chapter at CMU

This has been a memorable month for standout quarterback Ryan Radcliff of Sherwood (Ohio) Fairview High School. First, he was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the annual Major League Baseball Draft, then, last week, he was named the Most Valuable Player of the annual Ohio High School North/South All-Star football game. What's next for Radcliff?

Ryan Radcliff spent Saturday afternoon canoeing with some friends down the Maumee River near his home.

It was a fitting way perhaps, for him to end such a hectic week that saw him choose to play college football at Central Michigan University over signing a Major League Baseball contract with the Colorado Rockies.

"I'm definitely going to college," said the 6-foot-3, 205-pound all-star quarterback, who will begin classes at CMU tomorrow (June 23). "I actually have until August to decide about signing with the Rockies, but I think once I start college, it's going to be tough to stop. It would take something crazy for me to choose baseball in the end and I just don't see that happening."

Radcliff was selected by the Colorado Rockies with the 25th pick in the 34th round of the Major League Baseball Draft June 6. The Rockies are looking at Radcliff as a catching prospect.

Of course, Radcliff could choose to play both football and baseball for the Chippewas, but right now at least, he doesn't foresee that happening.

"I haven't thought about it too much, it's not likely though," Radcliff said. "In the spring I'll be busy with football practice and if I'm in the two-deep at quarterback, I'm going to be real busy."

Although Radcliff is expected to redshirt for CMU this coming season, next spring he is expected to battle current redshirt freshman Derek Rifenbury for the No. 2 slot behind Dan LeFevour.

"I think there will be some pressure following Dan LeFevour, but I think he'll be a great player to learn from," Radcliff said. "The biggest difference for me is going to be the speed of the game. I don't think I run as good as Danny, I'm more of a passer."

Radcliff capped a record-setting prep career at Fairview High School by being named the Most Valuable Player in the annual Ohio North/South All-Star game played June 14 at Ohio State University. In that game, Radcliff completed 15-of-21 passes for 267 yards and one touchdown, and ran for another score, in leading the North squad to a 31-9 victory.

Recently, a few coaches from Bowl Championship Series programs have reportedly congratulated CMU on signing "the next great quarterback in the Mid-American Conference."

Radcliff earning high praise from BCS coaches is no surprise to Scout.com Ohio recruiting analyst Dave Berk, who first watched Radcliff play last summer.

"The term 'Under The Radar' may be the right one to use when talking about Ryan Radcliff," Berk said. "With several quarterbacks in the class of 2008 getting more press, Radcliff went about his business finding a home with Central Michigan on signing day.

"In CMU's offense, you'll find Radcliff to be the perfect fit," Berk added. "He's a leader and understands breaking down a defense. Having run the spread at the high school level, Radcliff will have a slight learning curve ahead of others. He's got an arm strong enough to work any offense but can use his feet to escape and keep a play alive while still looking for an open receiver. The Chippewas got a fine looking prospect who should continue to grow during his college career."

As a three-year varsity starter, Radcliff led Fairview High to a 22-5 record. In his prep career, he completed 784 of 1,294 passes for 11,038 yards and 139 touchdowns. Radcliff's career passing yards and career touchdown passes both rank second in state history. Radcliff had his pick of almost any MAC school before he committed to CMU last summer while on an unofficial visit.

"I like the spread offense that CMU runs," Radcliff said. "I also like working with (CMU quarterbacks) coach (Mike) Bajakian and how straightforward (CMU head) coach (Butch) Jones was with me in the recruiting process. Once I toured the campus and looked around, I came back (to the Indoor Athletic Complex) and told coach Jones CMU is where I wanted to play my college football."

Radcliff now begins to write the next chapter of his life as a quarterback and student-athlete for the Central Michigan Chippewas.

"I can't wait to get up there and get started," Radcliff said. "The MAC is such a great conference."

Radcliff laughed when asked about the prospect of returning home to Ohio as a Chippewa to play against nearby MAC rivals Bowling Green and Toledo.

"A lot of my high school friends are going to Toledo," Radcliff chuckled. "They said they'll come watch me play but will not be rooting for me to win anymore."

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