Thomas Ryan Update

Vanderbilt must replace both its starting defensive ends. One incoming freshman who could possibly make a push for playing time is Thomas Ryan. Ryan recently spoke with

Don Yates: Thomas, what have you been up to lately?
Thomas Ryan: Nothing really; just same old thing. Trying to get through the school year and working out. I'm doing my Vandy workout and it's working really good.

DY: What kind of things does the workout consist of?
TR: I'm doing a bunch of stuff. They have us on a four-day program. The first day is upper body; the second day is lower body, on Wednesday we have a day off. On Thursday and Friday it's the same thing but different sets and different kinds of exercises. Each day there are little subdivisions of running and stuff like that. Three days a week there is run conditions with sprints and the other two days there is just more skill, agility conditioning. It's actually all I've been doing. It takes a lot of time. After school I'm in the gym at like 3 and I work out to like 5:30 and then I just go home, tired.

DY: Did you go to the spring game?
TR: Yes.

DY: Seems like all the signees I've talked to went to that. Is that pretty much the case?
TR: Yes, it was pretty much everyone. Blake [Gowder] wasn't there and Vince [Taylor] wasn't there. There may have been a couple of others.

DY: So how was the game?
TR: It was great; it was awesome. We got to be out on the field and just watch. It was good to see the football program they have up close. I had never gone to one of their games before.

DY: You are going to be a defensive end, correct?
TR: Yes, defensive end.

DY: What did you think about that defense during the spring game?
TR: It was great. Once again, they always have a strong defense. They were pretty dominant out there the whole day. Even the second string and the As and Bs, everyone seemed to be really good. When they took Smotherman and T.J. Greenstone out the other guys that filled in were really good. They have good depth.

DY: So what do you think about that Vanderbilt offense?
TR: I just think that the defense is so dominant so that was the problem. They just need a little work here and there. There's always works that need to be done. Myron, he was getting a lot of pressure on him so he had a couple of bad passes. Everything looked good. Jordan Rodgers, he came in and he played well. He looked a little shifty back there. He was all over the first defense. Then the two backs, they have to be better than last year. I noticed both the backs were getting five or six yards after contact. They were there. They both seem like they'll be making a big impact this year.

DY: Did you get a chance to talk to any of the coaches?
TR: Yes, I was up there Thursday talked to them for a little bit and Friday I went up to their offices and I hung with them a little bit. I went to a couple of their meetings and met coach Pelton. It was a good time.

DY: He's a pretty new coach right? This is his first year.
TR: He's real nice; I like him a lot. I watched him coach and he seems real disciplined so I can't wait to start working with him.

DY: Now coach Logo, will he be working with the ends too?
TR: I'm not sure. I'm think he's more mainly concentrating on the tackles. Of course he's the head defensive line coach.

DY: When do you plan on heading up to Vanderbilt?
TR: I'll be going up there on June 7th, the day after graduation.

DY: So you will be taking two semesters of summer school?
TR: Yes.

DY: Are you doing any spring sports?
TR: No, I was in baseball but I'm not in it anymore.

DY: So you started playing baseball but you are not now?
TR: Yes, I stopped so I could concentrate on my workouts. It's a big workout. If I had kept playing there was no way I'd be able to finish the workouts.

DY: I know you played in that USA versus the World game. How did that go?
TR: It was good, fun, a good experience. It was the first time I experienced a coaching staff like college. I was going against college players, guys 6-7, 340 so I was kind of scared but I went and did my job. I had three tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery so I did okay. I wish I could have played in that game after I did all these workouts and stuff.

DY: And you played defensive end in that game?
TR: Yes.

DY: Did the Vanderbilt coaches say anything about your performance in the game?
TR: They said I did well and were impressed.

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