Boston College football great Matt Ryan will have his jersey retired during a halftime ceremony in the BC-Connecticut game. On Friday afternoon, Ryan took a pre-ceremony victory lap in a press conference on campus. Ryan’s uncle and former BC quarterback John Loughery was also in attendance, announced as a special guest moments before the event started.
The quarterback from Philadelphia spoke about his time at BC, what he’s learned since, and what this weekend means for the future of the program.
Ryan left BC as the record-holder for single-season passing yards with 4,507. He also ranks in the top three all-time at BC in career yards, career passing touchdowns, and career completions. Ryan earned the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given to the best senior or fourth-year quarterback, the Manning Award, given to the nation’s best quarterback overall, and the ACC Player of the Year Award in his final season.
Ryan was drafted third overall in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons, whom he still plays for today. Nine games into the 2016-17 campaign, Ryan is turning in an MVP-caliber year, leading the Falcons to first place in the NFC South more than halfway through the season.
Looking back at his time on the Heights, Ryan recalls fond memories, both on and off the field. When asked about his favorite moment away from the game of football, he cited meeting his wife, Sarah, who was a point guard on BC women’s basketball at the same time.
“This is certainly a special weekend for myself and my family,” Ryan said. “I’m excited to get back for a game, because it’s been awhile since I’ve been able to make it back to campus.”
In addition to his physical tools, Ryan was widely praised for his motor and drive on the field. He mentioned work ethic as the biggest thing he learned while playing at BC.
“With the coaches that I had here, with the players that I played with, that was instilled in you,” Ryan said. “It was about being detailed, prepared, and for lack of a better term, busting your ass.”
During his time at BC, Ryan was never the guy who got caught dogging it, and he made sure that others on the team followed his lead. Because of that, his jersey will join that of Luke Kuechly, another 2016 honoree, along the brick wall in the corner of Alumni Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Featured Image by Matt Rourke / AP Photo