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Knights Under Lights: Logan Ryan

Logan Ryan made his mark while playing for the Rutgers football team and is now finding success in the NFL.  – Photo by Elliot Dong

In Knights Under Lights, The Daily Targum looks at athletes who distinguished themselves during their time on the Banks.

For three seasons, Logan Ryan was one of the Rutgers football team's finest players — and for good reason. From safety to corner, Ryan was a pocket knife for the Scarlet Knights, whose varied skill set established him as one of the best to ever grace their halls.

Ryan, who hails from Voorhees Township, played football at Eastern Regional High School, where his penchant for bone-crushing hits and knack for turnovers garnered him national recognition. A four-star recruit and the seventh-best prospect in the state of New Jersey, he jumped at the chance to represent his home state when Rutgers came knocking.

His freshman season would be one of growth and development. In 11 games, Ryan totaled nine tackles and a single pass deflection.

In his second year, Ryan had all but secured a starting spot outside the numbers, thanks in large part to his hard-nosed play style. The defensive back had set himself apart from the rest of the secondary with 10 tackles against North Carolina and seven in a win over Syracuse shortly after.

Ryan would enjoy perhaps the finest game of his collegiate career that season against Pittsburgh. With two interceptions, three pass deflections and a pick-six, Ryan established himself as the Knights' premier defensive talent.

Ryan's high-level play saw Rutgers head to the Pinstripe Bowl to face Iowa State, head coach Greg Schiano's sixth bowl game in seven years. With a 27-13 victory, Ryan concluded his electric sophomore season with a stat line of 67 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and three interceptions.

In his final season with the Knights, Ryan totaled nearly 100 total tackles and another five tackles for loss. As if that wasn't enough, the former four-star recruit added another four interceptions in coverage.

It was this 2012 campaign that garnered national acclaim for Ryan, earning him First-Team All-American and All-Big East honors. In the program's first year with new head coach Kyle Flood, Rutgers made an appearance on the AP Poll and earned a trip to the Russell Athletic Bowl.

The team ultimately fell to Virginia Tech, but, for Ryan, it was only the beginning of the most successful chapter of his career. He soon declared for the 2013 NFL Draft, where he was selected by the New England Patriots with the 83rd overall pick.

On the doorstep of their most successful stretch in franchise history, Ryan would have to improve fast if he hoped to contribute to a loaded Patriots defense. Luckily for the entire organization, he was almost perfect from day one.

The former Knight racked up five interceptions, a pick-six, 10 pass deflections and 35 tackles on the ground in his rookie season. Though not a full-time starter, he played meaningful minutes for one of the best defensive units in football all the way through a tough loss to the Denver Broncos in the AFC Conference Championship.

The next season would see Ryan build upon a fantastic start to his career, adding two interceptions and two forced fumbles to his resume. Ryan would see limited snaps, yet still recorded a tackle in each of the Patriots' postseason games, including Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks.

Ryan's finest hour was likely the 2016 postseason. After recording 16 tackles, a sack, four pass deflections and an interception in the two rounds prior, the Rutgers alum racked up six tackles to help lift the Patriots over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

A storied career later, with stints paying for the Tennessee Titans, New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ryan finds himself on the verge of his third Super Bowl ring, this time with the surging San Francisco 49ers. As a late in-season addition, the 33-year-old has already outplayed even the loftiest of expectations and hopes to continue to do so against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVIII.

For more updates on Knights Under Lights, follow @TargumSports on X.

To view more of Jackson DiLullo's work, follow @jackson_dilullo on X.

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