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Nothing dull about life of Ryan

Michigan's breakout linebacker follows family's footsteps into football

Updated: October 24, 2012, 12:06 PM ET
By Michael Rothstein | WolverineNation

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan sophomore Jake Ryan began to discover himself while on the field adjacent to the varsity field at St. Bernadette's in Westlake, Ohio, even if as a fourth-grader he hardly knew it yet.

He lined up at linebacker and focused on the opponent. The ball was snapped. Ryan blew into the backfield, picked up the running back and slammed him to the ground. The crowd stopped, not knowing whether to cheer.

"Just plants him," recounted John Ryan, a cousin. "Everyone ...

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