Hard to believe, but we are officially under 100 days until the Broncos storm the Capital to take on the Hokies. As you may remember, last summer we embarked on the Herculean task of counting down a different roster spot for each remaining day until kickoff. Well, I burned out after about 30 days and the countdown was spotty at best until the Ducks rolled into town. I've recommitted myself this offseason however, and I'm shooting for 100 percent this time around.
We've got 98 days until kickoff...so today we'll be taking a look at number 98 on the Bronco roster—
#98, Ryan Winterswyk, Senior, DE
Weight: 263 lbs.
High School: La Habra High School, La Habra, CA
How'd he get to The Blue™?
After a stellar career at La Habra that saw him named all-state, All-CIF, All-Freeway League, league defensive MVP and team MVP, and finishing his senior season with 150 tackles, two interceptions and three touchdowns, Winterswyk was strangely absent from the top of regional recruiting lists. Luckily for the Broncos, Ryan didn't let that fact get him down and joined the Broncos as a walk-on safety in January of 2006. Bronco coaches started tinkering with his game immediately, and convinced him to give defensive end a shot. The rest, as they say (they, being Tom Scott), is history.
Rhymes with "pike", not "pick". Winterswyk's nickname is the classic shortening of the last name, but can also be used as a verb, as in the following sentence: Man, Nathan Enderle sure got Swyked on that play.
Singer Josh Groban
Named honorable mention Freshman All-America after 2007 season by The Sporting News. Named Outstanding Defensive Lineman by teammates and staff after freshman campaign. Named first team All-WAC for both sophomore and junior seasons and recorded career-high 9 sacks in 2009.
Missing 2008 opener with knee injury.
Winterswyk has followed the career arc of so many other walk-ons at Boise State by becoming an all-conference player for the Broncos. From his humble beginnings as an undersized walk-on safety, Winterswyk has become a terror at defensive end and a true leader on the field during what is looking to be a golden era for the Bronco defensive unit. Winterswyk has managed to somewhat quietly rack up 124 career tackles (37.5 for loss), 19 quarterback sacks, and 11 pass break ups in his three years holding down an end position. If Ryan can continue his consistent line play, he should be able to garner some long looks from NFL scouts following this, his senior year. Look for Winterswyk to have in the neighborhood of 50 tackles in 2010 and 8-12 sacks. He'll be joined this year by a deep and experienced supporting cast in Jarrell Root and Shea McClellin, and will be spelled early and often by promising newcomers Kharyee Marshall, Nick Alexander, and Tyrone Crawford.
Completely made up fact
Winterswyk was initially reluctant to give up his safety position until a chance viewing of the Men Without Hats music video The Safety Dance. Ryan was so terrified by the video he swore to never have any more affiliation with anything safety-oriented.