Ryan Logan: Playing For The Good of the Team
Sept. 4, 2005
By Chris Forsberg Fitchburg Sentinel and Enterprise
AMHERST -- As the wide receiving corps for the UMass football team lined up for its group photo during Wednesday's media day, one thing stood out: Ryan Logan's jersey number.
His brethren were decked out in typical wide receivers' numbers -- digits in the 80's or in the teens and below -- but there stood Logan in his No. 39 jersey with a business-like demeanor.
"This is the number they gave me last year," explained Logan, who came to UMass as a defensive back, moved to linebacker last season and was shifted to wide receiver for the 2005 campaign.
"I don't care about the number. That doesn't matter to me. I just want to go out there and help the team in any way I can."
The Minutemen have been searching for a way to best utilize his unique blend of size, speed and determination. Fitchburg High faithful remember Logan as a player who never left the field after starring as a quarterback, free safety, punter and kicker for the Red Raiders.
But Logan -- who classifies as a redshirt freshman -- simply wants to get on the field in Amherst, hence his willingness to suit up wherever the coaching staff can utilize him. He's not projected high on the receiving depth chart heading into the upcoming season, but that hasn't detoured his confidence one bit.
"I'll punt, I'll play special teams, I'll return kicks, whatever I have to do to get out there," said Logan. "I just want to prove I can play."
He's got one big supporter in former Fitchburg High teammate Frank McDonald. McDonald, a redshirt junior pegged to start at fullback for the Minutemen, was a senior when Logan was a sophomore during the Red Raiders' Super Bowl season in 2000.
"We were roommates last year," said McDonald. "He just got moved from defense over to offense, but he's a real special athlete and he's going to find a way to make an impact."
Bracing for the position switch, Logan stole a page from professional players like Tiki Barber and Ahman Green and spent the summer training as a boxer. He enrolled at the Fitchburg Boxing Club and believes the rigorous workouts will help his football career.
"My dad is a former college football player and back in his day a lot the guys used to box," said Logan, referring to his father, Don, who played at Fitchburg High and Boston College. "It's mostly for conditioning and working on your quickness. But it certainly makes you tougher. You take some good hits in the ring."
Logan plans to further pursue the sport in the offseason with entry to the Golden Gloves division. But trying (and starring) at another sport is nothing new for Logan, who oozes athleticism. He also competes for the UMass indoor track team and has a bright future on the rubberized surface.
Logan placed seventh in the 55-meter hurdles at last year's Atlantic 10 championships (8.08 seconds) and fifth in the shot put (44 feet, 9 inches). He's been clocked as fast as 7.94 seconds in the 55 hurdles.
Coaches believe that speed should translate over to the football field. He just has to become familiar with intricacies of his new position like running crisp routes and blocking on the outside.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound speedster showcased his versatility as a senior at Fitchburg High. He passed for over 600 yards and nine touchdowns, while rushing for 700 more yards and scoring eight touchdowns as captain of the football squad.
A holder of seven FHS track records, he went undefeated in the hurdles during his senior indoor track season. He also won the District E title in the decathlon.
The Leominster native completed a prep year at Loomis Chaffee in Windsor, Conn. before coming to UMass. He redshirted last season and hopes to make an impact in game situations this year.
"Guys like JJ Moore have taken me under their wing," said Logan. "My goal right now it to make the travel squad and go from there."
Engulfed in a whirlwind of athletics (he also dabbled in junior Olympic freestyle skiing competitions), Logan doesn't have much free time on his hands. If he does, he's usually in the weight room.
"It's tough, we lift four days a week and then I have my track workout and usually we have a morning workout for football," said the 20-year-old who is currently majoring in Hospitality & Tourism Management, but is considering switching to Marketing. "But I love it all."