DeMeco Ryans

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DeMeco Ryans
No. 59 Philadelphia Eagles
Position: Linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1984-07-28) July 28, 1984 (age 31)
Place of birth: Bessemer, Alabama
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 247 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school: Bessemer (AL) Jess Lanier
College: Alabama
NFL draft: 2006 / Round: 2 / Pick: 33
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 4, 2015
Tackles: 938
Quarterback sacks: 13.5
Interceptions: 6
Forced fumbles: 6
Stats at
Stats at

DeMeco Ryans (/dɨˈmk/; born July 28, 1984) is an American football linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Alabama, and received unanimous All-American honors. He was chosen by the Houston Texans in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft, and was recognized as the AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2006. He was selected to two Pro Bowls, before being traded to the Eagles in the 2012 offseason.

Early years[edit]

Ryans was born in Bessemer, Alabama. He attended Jess Lanier High School in Bessemer, where he played high school football. In his senior season, he had 135 tackles, 11 sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions. Considered a three-star recruit by, Ryans was listed as the No. 39 inside linebacker prospect in the nation from the class of 2002.[1] He picked Alabama over Mississippi State.

College career[edit]

Ryans attended the University of Alabama, where he played outside linebacker for coach Mike Shula's Alabama Crimson Tide football team from 2002 to 2005. Ryans started his career by earning a role on special teams and back up linebacker in his first season. By making great improvements every year in his college career, Ryans went on to become the SEC's Defensive Player of the Year for his performance in 2005. Later on, Ryans attributed much of his college success to his defensive coordinator at Alabama, Joe Kines. He was named the 2006 Cotton Bowl Classic defensive MVP in their 13-10 win over Texas Tech. Following his 2005 senior season, he received the Lott Trophy for his combination of athletic excellence and off-the-field achievements, and was recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American.

College awards and honors[edit]

Professional career[edit]

2006 NFL Draft[edit]

Ryans was selected with the first pick of the 2nd round (33rd overall) in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Texans. He was the highest selected Alabama linebacker since Dwayne Rudd in 1997.

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 1¼ in 236 lb 4.65 s 1.64 s 2.74 s 4.18 s 7.19 s 39 in 10 ft 9 in 23 reps
All values from NFL Combine

Houston Texans[edit]

Ryans began his NFL career in 2006 with the Houston Texans. Though he had been an outside linebacker in college, he earned the starting middle linebacker position due to his excellent performance in the preseason. In his first game he recorded a league-high 12 solo tackles. Ryans had an overwhelming impact as a rookie linebacker for the Texans, leading the team in tackles in the first half of the 2006 season. Many Texans fans began nicknaming him “D-Wreck” for his toughness and hard hits; other nicknames included D-ROY, intended to promote Ryans for the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year award, and "Cap'n Meco," due to his status as a Texans team captain and in reverence of his tremendous professionalism and leadership both on and off the field.

On January 3, 2007, Ryans was awarded the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Award after finishing second in the league with 155 total tackles (Zach Thomas 165), 31 more tackles than the next rookie (Detroit Lions linebacker Ernie Sims). He received 36 of 50 votes by a nationwide panel of sports writers and broadcasters. Chicago Bears defensive end Mark Anderson, who was Ryans's teammate at Alabama, finished second with five votes. On December 18, 2007 DeMeco Ryans was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time. Ryans wore the Texans' defensive transmitter to relay plays from the sideline into the huddle. This meant he was an every-down player.[2] On March 30, 2010, Ryans signed a 6-year $48 million extension, including $21.75 million guaranteed.

Philadelphia Eagles[edit]

On March 20, 2012, after Brian Cushing replaced Ryans as starting middle linebacker, Ryans was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a 2012 fourth-round draft pick and a swap of third-round picks between the two teams. Ryans was immediately inserted as the team's starting Middle Linebacker.[3] On January 4, 2014 he had 10 tackles and his first career playoff interception in his first career playoff games with the Eagles. On November 3, 2014, Ryans was placed on injured reserve after tearing his Achilles tendon during a game against his former team, the Houston Texans.

Career statistics[edit]

Season Team GP–GS Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
Total Solo Ast Sack Safety Pass Def. Int Yards Avg Long TD Forced
2006^ Houston Texans 16–16 156 126 30 3.5 0 5 1 16 16.0 16 0 1
2007†‡ 16–16 128 99 29 2.0 0 7 1 1 1.0 1 0 1
2008 16–16 112 86 26 1.0 0 4 0 0 0.0 0 0 2
2009 16–16 123 93 30 1.0 0 2 0 0 0.0 0 0 1
2010 6–6 54 32 22 1.0 0 2 0 0 0.0 0 0 0
2011 16–16 64 44 20 0.0 0 4 0 0 0.0 0 0 1
2012 Philadelphia Eagles 16–16 113 86 27 1.0 0 4 1 0 0.0 0 0 0
Career Total 749 565 184 9.5 0 28 3 17 6.7 16 0 6
^ Named Rookie of the Year.
† Named to the Pro Bowl.
‡ Named to the All-Pro team.


  1. ^ "Inside linebackers", Rivals100, February 5, 2002 
  2. ^ Texans to send defensive signals through helmet of linebacker Ryans
  3. ^ Les Bowen (May 24, 2012). "Linebacker DeMeco Ryans mans the middle for the Eagles". Retrieved 2012-08-29. 

External links[edit]