South Allegheny lineman commits to The Citadel
Since hard work is something Ryan Bednar has never been afraid of tackling, the South Allegheny senior offensive lineman sure picked the right college to continue on with his football career.
Bednar transformed himself from a 5-foot-10, 220-pound freshman to a 6-1, 283-pound Bulldog, literally, within a span of four years as he made a verbal commitment to The Citadel Bulldogs, a military college in Charleston, S.C.
“Citadel is a good fit for him because of the unique academic requirements they require and his football ability,” South Allegheny coach Pat Monroe said. “The school is very prestigious beyond football itself, and it also has a very storied history. The structure is good and it's a good brand of football.”
Bednar was recruited to play interior offensive line for The Citadel, an FCS (formally Division I-AA) team that plays out of the Southern Conference with the likes of Appalachian State, Furman, Wofford and Georgia Southern, among others.
The Citadel played N.C. State last year and has games scheduled in the future against Clemson and Notre Dame.
Bednar, who can bench press in excess of 400 pounds, committed to The Citadel after visiting the school last week. FBS school Bowling Green also showed interest, but never offered Bednar.
“Ryan has that combination of natural ability to go along with work ethic,” Monroe said. “He worked himself to his maximum potential. He is a big kid and made himself as physically imposing as possible. That kind of combo along with being a technician on the field was amazing.”
Bednar was a four-year starter for the Gladiators and helped SA break a 25-year streak of not qualifying for the playoffs this past year.
After a three-year record of 3-27, SA went 7-3 last year and qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 1986.
Bednar was a big part of the reason why, both on offense and defense.
“He played a major role in that,” Monroe said. “We were unselfish as a group and it showed. Ryan brought a presence on both sides of the ball because he was so strong. You knew other teams had to account for him on both sides of the ball.”