Shortly after a 13-10 overtime loss in the Russell Athletic Bowl, junior cornerback Logan Ryan decided it was time to move on to the NFL. Ryan is a 6-foot, 190-pound cornerback that redshirted in 2009 before playing in 37 consecutive games for Rutgers.
Ryan projects to go between the second and fourth round. Size, physicality and lack of off-the-field concerns are considered to be Ryan's top strengths, with top-line speed as the biggest question mark. Ryan ran a reported 4.46 40-yard dash as a high-school prospect.
In the last 16 games Ryan started, Rutgers forced turnovers in each game. The top cornerback on the roster, Ryan helped the Rutgers defense finish first in the Big East in scoring defense, second in total defense and second in turnover margin. Ryan is the only player in the nation with more than 85 tackles and four interceptions.
"The NFL is looking for complete corners," Ryan said. "It's a passing league, you need a lot of DBs and you need to be able to tackle in space. ... I feel like I have the intangibles necessary. Nobody right now on Dec. 31 is ready to play in the NFL. I need to get better. I need to work on all facets of my game and that's what I plan to do."
Ryan is a two-time All-Big East selection and was the top cornerback for Rutgers in 2012. He intercepted seven passes the last two seasons and finished second behind Khaseem Greene with 87 tackles this season.
"I'm a competitor at all times and I feel like I want to compete at the highest level possible," Ryan said.
Ryan is the first defensive player to leave early for the draft, but fifth Scarlet Knight in the last six years to do so. He follows running back Ray Rice (second round), receiver Kenny Britt (first round), tackle Anthony Davis (first round) and receiver Mohamed Sanu (third round) as an early departure.
"There's not a more dedicated player on or off the field than Logan," said defensive coordinator Robb Smith. "[It] really personifies what Rutgers football is all about."
Ryan was a three-star prospect in the Scout.com class of 2009, ranking in as the No. 53 cornerback in the country.
"Logan embodies everything we look for when recruiting a potential student-athlete," said Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood. "He is smart, tough, disciplined player with a tremendous work ethic and talent. He has represented our program in first class fashion and we know he will continue to excel when playing on Sundays."
Before Flood took over, Ryan spent three years under now Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano. Schiano specialized in coaching defensive backs and helped both McCourty twins and safety Courtney Greene find success in the NFL.
He is 15 credits short, or one semester, of his Rutgers degree.
"I don't think my father and brother would let me in the house if I didn't get my degree soon," Ryan said.