Matt Ryan is an American professional athlete and a National Football League (NFL) player who began his pro career with the Atlanta Falcons after the team selected him in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft. From his high school days to the NFL, Matt Ryan has been all about football. He has gained numerous awards and has created several records including the fewest interceptions in a regular-season by starting quarterback in 2016. He was also named the only quarterback in NFL history to throw a touchdown to 13 different receivers in a single season, as well as NFL’s Most Valuable Player.
How Matt Ryan’s Family Background Partly Influenced His Career Choice
Matt Ryan was born into a Roman Catholic family of Irish descent as the third among four siblings of his parents, Bernice Loughery and Michael Ryan. His career path is partly influenced by some members of his family as one of his uncles, John Loughery and cousin Mike McGlinchey also played football.
John Loughery began his playing career at William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia and there, Matt Ryan equally started his football career. John graduated as the school’s leading passer with a record of 4,950 yards and 48 touchdowns. Moving to Elon (N. C.) University, his performance earned him All-soCon honors. Later in 2016, he joined Temple University as a graduate assistant coach and has been working with the offensive line since then.
Matt Ryan’s cousin, Mike McGlinchey had his collegiate career at Notre Dame and afterward, was drafted as the ninth overall pick in the round one of the 2018 NFL draft by the San Francisco 49ers. He has been playing as an offensive tackle for the NFL franchise since 2018 and was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team, the same year.
He Was a Versatile Player In High School
Named Matthew Thomas Ryan at birth – May 17, 1985 – and nicknamed “Matty Ice,” the quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons is an alumnus of William Penn Charter School, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he excelled in baseball, basketball, and football. Ryan played as a pitcher and a shortstop on the baseball team; small forward on the basketball team, and quarterback of the football team in 2002, and he was captain of all three teams as a senior.
The three-time All-League selection captured All-Southeastern Pennsylvania accolades as a senior quarterback in addition to receiving the second-team recognition in 2001 and All-City first-team honors in 2002. His athletic prowess gained him multiple scholarships offers from University football teams, but he chose Boston College and graduated in 2007.
A Peek At His Collegiate Career Exploits
The NFL quarterback played four seasons in college, starting out in 2003 as the starting quarterback and was redshirted in his first year with the team. He subsequently led the Eagles to three bowl victories, as he posted 200 or more yards 15 times while with the team. In his debut game on October 2nd, 2004, Ryan completed two of three passes for 16 yards and later on November 27th game, he completed 24 of 51 passes for 200 yards.
He also recorded one touchdown and three interceptions in the game which was the final match of the season. Then at the end of the 2007 season, Matt Ryan led the conference in passing yards; 4,507, touchdowns; 31 and interceptions; 19. He finished his college career with multiple awards and accolades including MPC Computers Bowl MVP (2005), First-team All-ACC selection (2006), Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (2007), etc. Ryan was selected to play in the 2008 Senior Bowl and was the second first-round pick of the 2008 NFL Draft.
Becoming a Franchise Player With The Atlanta Falcons
Ryan debuted his pro game on the regular-season opener against the Detroit Lions as the quarterback on September 7, 2008, in so doing he became the first rookie quarterback to start a season for the Falcons since 2001. He finished the game to become the first quarterback to throw a touchdown on his first career NFL pass since 2000.
In all the 16 games played in 2008 season, Ryan recorded 17 touchdowns (one rushing), 11 interceptions, and 3,440 passing yards, making him the first rookie quarterback in Falcon’s franchise history to throw for over 3,000 yards in one season. He then posted passing yards; 3,440, touchdowns; 17 and interceptions; 11 at the end of the season. Also, he was voted as the Offensive Captain by his teammates and entered the 2009 season as the Falcons starting quarterback.
In Week 12 of the 2009 season, he sustained a turf toe injury during the game against Tampa Bay, which kept him out of play for two weeks which saw the Falcons suffer losses in the two games they played against the Philadelphia Eagles and the New Orleans Saints. He returned in Week 15 partially recovered from injury to led the team to a 10–7 knockout win against the New York Jets, followed by another 31–3 victory over the Buffalo Bills in Week 16.
For the first time in franchise history, the Falcons attained back to back wins with a record of 9–7 and Matt Ryan ended the season with passing yards; 2,916, touchdowns; 22, and interceptions; 14.
Matt Had His Best Career Year In 2016
Matt Ryan continued with his excellent performance on the field in the 2010 season, when he recorded six comebacks. Thus, leading the National Football League in fourth quarter comebacks that season and was named to his first career Pro Bowl selection. In the 2013 season, his overall passing yards of 4,515 was ranked fourth in the NFL, as he finished the season with 26 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
The skilled athlete then had a good year in 2016 when he ended the year as NFL Most Valuable Player. He was also named to the fourth Pro Bowl of his career and equally recorded career-high passing yards of 4,944, with touchdowns; 38, and interceptions; 7. After signing a lucrative contract with the Falcons in 2018, Ryan reached 50,000 career passing yards in the 2019 season, hence, becoming the 10th quarterback to attain such a feat in the annals of the NFL. He ended the season posting passing yards; 4,466, touchdowns; 26, and interceptions; 14.
He Has Created New Records In The NFL
Matt Ryan has gained many accolades over the course of his long-spanning career with the Atlanta Falcons. They include NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award (2016), PFWA Offensive Player of the Year Award (2016), First-team All-Pro selection (2016), NFL Passer Rating Leader (2016), NFL Completion Percentage Co-leader (2012), and many others.
In the National Football League, the famed quarterback holds the record for the most passing yards in first 10, 11, and 12 years in the history of the league with passing yards of 41,796, 46,720, and 51,186 respectively. He is also the fastest player in the league to pass over 40,000 yards in 151 games. On Pro Football Focus, PFF rating, he became the only quarterback who has earned a PFF grade of 87 or higher in past 4 consecutive seasons. From 2008 to 2019, he recorded a total of 321 touchdowns, throwing for 51,186 yards, 147 interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 94.6.
Coming to his franchise records, Matt Ryan is the only quarterback in the franchise to have led the Falcons to an 8-0 start. He also holds the record for the most career wins by a quarterback (109), as well as the highest comeback win in one season (5).
What Is Matt Ryan’s Net Worth?
Despite never having played a professional game, Ryan’s first six-year contract as a professional NFL player, on May 20, 2008, was worth $72 million with $34.75 million in guaranteed money, making him the fourth highest-paid quarterback in the NFL.
Ryan was practically earning more than $33 million in salary per year – an amount that fueled the discussion on whether salaries of first-round draftees in the NFL were too high. This does not include his signed endorsement deals with AirTran and Nike. Later in 2018, the proficient quarterback began earning a salary of $30 million annually after signing a five-year contract with the Falcons valued at $150 million with $100 million guaranteed. With that, his net worth is estimated at $70 million.
See Also: Who Is Roquan Smith The NFL Linebacker? His Height, Weight, Other Facts
How The NFL Star Met His Wife, Sarah
Matt Ryan met his now-wife, Sarah Marshall, in 2003 in a weight room while they were freshmen as well as athletes in Boston College. Sarah was a standout basketball player who won two state titles with McAuley before moving on to play point guard in college. The Falmouth native was also active in football and track during her high school days in Maine, as she was an all-state player in football and track. In 2013, she was hired as the sponsorship sales consultant for the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream.
In an interview with Gwinnett Daily Post, Sarah revealed that their first date wasn’t quite the ideal type as they went to see a movie, Man on Fire along with three of her teammates. Having invited her beau on a date with three other ladies, the former basketballer felt bad but later realised that Matt was cool about it, and at that point, she knew she had a good catch. The two dated for a couple of years before getting engaged in the year 2010.
Interesting Facts About His Family Life
Matt and Sarah exchanged vows in 2011 and after seven years of staying married, they welcomed twin boys, Marshall and John into the world on April 8, 2018, and shared the good news on social media. The birth of the twins didn’t come at ease, as the boys were born two months premature.
Back in November 2017, Sarah announced of her pregnancy and stated her due date as April 2018. But in the next year, she had complications on January 9th, as a result, she was placed on bed rest and six weeks later, she gave birth to their twin boys. Marshall and Johnny spent first several weeks of the lives in Neonatal Care Unit at Northside Hospital before heading home to their parents.
The couple expressed their gratitude to the doctors and nurses in the NICU for taking good care of their boys. They are apparently enjoying family life with their sons who fought their way through NICU to be home with their doting parents.