Michigan Linebacker Jake Ryan Earns Pat Tillman Award

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Four-year Wolverines star shines among East-West Shrine Game® peers

2015 East-West Shrine Game Pat Tillman Award winner, Jake Ryan

2015 East-West Shrine Game Pat Tillman Award winner Jake Ryan

His character this week leading up to the East-West Shrine Game is the same character he exemplified his entire career at the University of Michigan.

As a four-year starter at University of Michigan, Jake Ryan has been impressive, playing in 46 games, named two-time team captain and to the All-Big Ten first team – recognizing his leadership and athletic abilities on the football field. Earning the East-West Shrine Game Pat Tillman Award, Ryan has been recognized for his character as well. Annually presented at a banquet the evening before the game, the award is presented to the player who best exemplifies intelligence, sportsmanship and service.

Upon hearing of the award, Greg Mattison, Michigan defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, said, “This award is a tremendous honor and Jake is very deserving of this recognition. His character this week leading up to the East-West Shrine Game is the same character he exemplified his entire career at the University of Michigan, and that is why we are confident he will have tremendous success at the next level."

Ryan has been one of the Wolverines' most consistent stars for his entire college career—recording 267 tackles including 45.5 for loss, 9.5 sacks and seven forced fumbles. In 2014, he led Michigan with 112 tackles, was a Dick Butkus Award finalist for the nation’s top linebacker, and earned the Schembechler Most Valuable Player Award (Michigan’s MVP).

Ryan started his Shrine Game experience with a visit to Shriners Hospitals for Children-Tampa, where he played with patients and their siblings on the basketball court, pushed them on swings, helped get their faces painted and danced. He spent the week practicing with his East teammates under head coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer, Mike Singletary, impressing scouts from NFL teams.

“I am truly humbled to receive this award,” said Ryan. “What makes it more special is the person for whom it is named. Pat Tillman is an American hero who turned down millions of dollars to protect our country. This award honors Pat’s courage, passion for the game, and his willingness to help others. It is an honor to be mentioned in the same sentence.”

The presentation of the 2015 award was particularly poignant since Kevin Ramsey, Pat Tillman’s last position coach at the Arizona Cardinals and a defensive coach for the Shrine Game, spoke about Tillman and introduced Ryan at the banquet.

About the East-West Shrine Game
The East-West Shrine Game is the longest-running college all-star football game in the country and features some of the highest-rated players in the projected NFL draft ranking. While the teams are divided by East and West, the players come together for the beneficiary of the event, Shriners Hospitals for Children. For more information, visit http://www.shrinegame.com.

About Shriners Hospitals for Children
Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education. The 22 locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico provide advanced care for children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate.

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. To learn more about Shriners Hospitals for Children, please visit http://www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org.

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Lyndsey Shaw
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