Clifton Ryan was born February 18, 1984, in Saginaw. He attended St. Stephen’s Middle School before winding up at Arthur Hill High School where the 2002 graduate was a solid three-sport athlete. Ryan earned eight varsity letters in football (3), basketball (3) and track and field (2). The two-time captain was one of the most dominating defensive players in the history of Arthur Hill football. In a Saginaw News poll, he was selected as a member of Arthur Hill’s all-time football team, and as the school’s best-ever football player. He recorded 310 tackles and 12 sacks during his three years on the varsity. Ryan, a three-time All-Saginaw Valley Conference selection, was named first team All-State by the Detroit News after recording 87 tackles, including four sacks. He also rushed for 376 yards and four touchdowns his senior year. Ryan was selected to play in the Michigan High School Football All-Star game. As a junior he produced 108 tackles, including 11 for losses, and three forced fumbles. He had 115 stops as a sophomore and selected to the Saginaw News Dream Team. Ryan was a PrepStar All-American and named to SuperPrep, PrepStar’s and Prep Football Report’s All-Midwest Teams. He was ranked among the nation’s top 25 athletes by ESPN.com’s Tom Lemming (No. 13), and listed among the Midwest’s top prospects by SuperPrep (No. 39) and Tom Lemming (No. 47), and rated among the state’s top seniors by the Lansing State Journal (No. 9), The Detroit News (No. 18) and the Detroit Free Press (No. 27). Ryan received a full-ride football scholarship to Michigan State University. After being granted a medical redshirt in 2002, he would go on to play 50 games for the Spartans – 35 as a starting defensive lineman. As a Spartan, the 6-foot-3, 310-pounder chalked up 118 total tackles – including 20 for losses. He also recorded 10.5 sacks and forced two fumbles. The two-time Spartan captain played well in rivalry games with 17 tackles, five for loss, against Notre Dame, and nine tackles, three for loss, against Michigan. Ryan was selected to play in the 2007 East-West Shrine Game. In the 2007 National Football League draft, Ryan was the St. Louis Rams’ fifth pick and the 154th player selected overall. Ironically, the Detroit Lions traded away two of their fifth-round picks to the Rams in exchange for a fourth-round pick. The Rams used one of those picks to select Ryan. In his debut season, he played in all 16 games finishing the season with 30 tackles and two sacks. He started 12 games in 2008 and 15 in 2009 before injuries ended his season and career in 2010. Ryan’s career stats during his four-year NFL career (2007-10) include 82 solo tackles, 21 assists, three sacks, three forced fumbles, and two pass deflections. While in college, he and LaMarr Woodley – friends since grade school – joined forces to help give back to their hometown of Saginaw through the Heroes for Kids Golf Outing. Local golfers were joined by college football players from both MSU and Michigan at the annual event, which generated several hundred thousand dollars for various youth programs in the Saginaw area.