Modesto Junior College
Thomas Downey H.S.
"I committed to Cal last night over the phone," expalined Estes. "Berkeley has everything that I am looking for in a school, education and football program. I am definitely excited to see what the next four years will bring me. I'm planning on leaving for Berkeley sometime in mid-July so that I can begin lifting with the team and get a bit of a head start before two-a-days start."
"From personal expeience at Modesto, I can say that the coaching staff has done a superb job," Estes continued. "All my experiences at JC have been nothing but positive."
As a senior at Thomas Downey High School, Ryan Estes had the potential to be a top recruit. However, an early season stinger became a nagging injury throughout the season and he was only able to play three full games. All of those games were played at fullback and he saw little, if any, time on defense. Many universities that had been recruiting Ryan backed off of him, concerned by his nagging injuries. He took an official visit to the University of Nevada, but the Wolfpack opted not to offer Ryan a scholarship in light of his health.
Thus, he enrolled at Modesto Junior College in his hometown. Early on in the season, it appeared that history would repeat itself as he once again suffered from a series of stinger which resulted in his inablilty to feel the right side of his body. He contemplated hanging up his pads and calling it a season, if not calling it a career. However, his faith led him back to the field. Ryan is a strong Christian; his father, a pastor at the family's church. With Ryan's season, and possibly his career in the balance, Ryan's dad and several other pastors prayed for his recovery and good health.
Miraculously, Ryan was back on the field the following week, hitting as hard as he ever had. He never experienced any further pain or injury the rest of the season. He completed one of the best freshman seasons a linebacker could possibly have, establishing himself as one of the best defensive players in Northern California, if not the state. He hits like a linebacker, can play at the line of scrimmage like a defensive end, and runs like a defensive back and could probably line up at safety. He also spends a lot of time in the weight room and this is evident in his body build. During this Spring, the Modesto coaches hand timed the players in the 40-yard dash. The test was done on a track with the athletes wearing track spikes. Ryan was timed twice at 4.3-seconds! One coach actually timed his forth at sub-4.3 during the testing.