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December 11, 2008

Season recap: Ryan Schlieper

Maryland offensive line commitment Ryan Schlieper had his work cut out for him as a senior.

Schlieper, a 6-foot-5, 278-pound left tackle, was expected to play a major role for North Allegheny (Pa.) this season. But that role was expanded in a hurry, according to Tigers head coach Art Walker.

“We had an injury to our right tackle in the first week,” Walker said. “So for the next three weeks, we [ran to the left side the majority of the time]. People knew we were going that way and Ryan still got the job done. If we needed someone to pull, week in and week out, he rose to the occasion and got it done. Whenever we were down a guy and limited running the ball effectively, he responded completely.”

Schlieper, a captain, helped North Allegheny (6-5) to the second round of the playoffs. For his efforts, Schlieper was named to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Fabulous 22, a list honoring the top high school football players in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League and Pittsburgh City League.

“He was fantastic,” Walker said. “He did a good job as a junior, but he really had a great year this year. His pass blocking improved, his run blocking improved. He had a great year.”

Walker thinks Schlieper will be an asset to future Maryland offensive lines thanks to his versatility. While he played tackle in high school, there’s a chance Schlieper could fill any O-line role in college.

“They’re bringing him in as an offensive lineman,” Walker said. “They’re looking at him first as a tackle. But, if need be, they can move him to the guard position.

“He’s a big kid with the frame to put on weight. He’s very marketable from a standpoint that he’s athletic for his size. ... He could probably play any spot up front on the offensive line.”

Walker said Schlieper is a tireless worker who will likely spend the majority of his remaining high school days in the weight room. Walker said there’s no doubt in his mind that Schlieper will arrive in College Park ready for the challenge.

“He’s a smart, hard worker who puts the time in. He’ll be prepared,” Walker said. “He’s a lineman, so he’s not one of those guys that looks for accolades or needs to hear his name called. He’s more worried about the team and doing his part to make sure the ultimate goal -- winning the game -- is accomplished.”

Posted by Matt Bracken at 11:42 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Season recaps

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About Matt Bracken

Matt Bracken was a lightly recruited football and tennis prospect out of East Lansing (Mich.) High School in 2001, but spurned all (nonexistent) scholarship offers to attend the University of Michigan. Matt graduated from UM in 2005, earned a master's degree in new media journalism from Northwestern University in 2006, and spent the first 11 months of his career as an online producer / videographer / blogger at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. He has worked at The Baltimore Sun since July 2007, where he currently serves as the deputy sports editor for digital.

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