Share This Page

Plum grad overcomes injuries to take field

| Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, 8:49 p.m.
Edinboro University athletics
Photo: Edinboro University athletics Ryan Ewing will play his first football game for Edinboro since the 2009 season. He has missed the past two seasons because of shoulder and knee injuries.

Ryan Ewing could've just thrown up his hands and decided to give up the game he loves.

The 2008 Plum graduate and defensive tackle on the Edinboro University football team has been through a lot over the past couple of seasons.

Shoulder and knee injuries kept him out of action since 2009, but, Ewing said, he's not going to go away quietly.

He hopes to make his presence felt on the field Saturday when Edinboro opens its 2012 season at Bloomsburg in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference East-West crossover game.

“It's just good to be back,” Ewing said.

After taking a redshirt as a freshman in 2008, Ewing worked his way up the defensive line depth chart and earned starting time in 2009. He finished with 20 tackles, including four for a loss, and one sack.

Ewing suffered the shoulder injury in the second game that season, but played through it. He started the first 11 games, but was limited in Edinboro's final two contests.

He rehabbed the shoulder after the season and decided to go against having surgery. But the shoulder became a problem during 2010 spring practice and surgery became a reality.

Ewing missed the 2010 season, but he was able to get back on the field in the offseason and came into 2011 preseason camp in good shape and feeling good.

However, misfortune befell Ewing again, as he went down with a severe knee injury during one of the first practices.

“It was a freak play,” Ewing said. “The running back tripped and fell. His helmet collided with the side of my knee, and it blew my knee out. It was unfortunate, but I had to keep moving forward,”

He moved forward after reconstructive surgery, and he was held out of spring drills.

Ewing came into camp in early August with no restrictions.

“It feels pretty good right now,” Ewing said. “I am a very aggressive player, and I always go full speed. You really can't think about (the injury) or it will slow you down. At this level of college football, you have to be as fast as you can be.”

Ewing, at 6-foot-5 and 285 pounds, will be in the mix for playing time at defensive tackle, and Scots defensive line coach Keith Braxton said he's excited to see Ewing back on the field.

“Ryan came into camp well conditioned and playing at a high level,” Braxton said.

“He's had a great camp. He is explosive, strong and is making plays. He's really maintained everything despite all the time off. He didn't have to start from scratch.

Ewing said not being able to play the past two seasons was a tough experience.

“It was pretty painful to watch my teammates on the field and know I couldn't help them,” he said. “Sometimes, the cards are dealt in a favor that you don't really want, but you have to man up and realize the circumstances. It allowed me to cherish every time I do get to play.”

Edinboro went 7-4 last season and was 4-3 in the PSAC West. The Scots are picked fourth in the PSAC West for this season in a vote by the conference coaches.

“Ryan put in a lot of time and effort to get back on the field,” Braxton said. “After all this time, he has a chance to go out and lay it on the line. He's one of the hardest workers on the field.”

Ewing is in his last year of football eligibility at Edinboro, and he knows it will be time to move on and start his life's career. The political science major with a minor in history is set to graduate after the fall semester.

“I don't know when it will be my last play, whether it's in practice, the first game, the second game or, hopefully, the PSAC championship game or the NCAA playoffs,” Ewing said. “I want to go until I can't go anymore.”

“These two years off have made me angry, to be honest. I am just ready for the fight of this season. I'm ready for this battle. I have a lot to prove. I've been out of the game for two years, and I have to make some people remember why I'm here.”

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.