August 23, 2007

2007 Football Player Preview: Ryan Blessing

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One of the cornerstones of the Red’s stingy defense last season was the emergence of junior linebacker Ryan Blessing. During his first two years with the football team, the 5’11” Oneida, N.Y. native played sparingly as a reserve linebacker and special teams starter, accumulating only nine total tackles over 15 games.
Yet over the course of the 2006 season, Blessing finally earned a starting job in the linebacking core and immediately made his presence known around the Ivy League, earning honorable mention All-Ivy accolades. The junior made a team-high 70 tackles — 34 of which were unassisted — to go along with five sacks, six tackles for loss and two pass breakups while starting all 10 games for Cornell. His five sacks also ranked him 52nd nationally in the NCAA.
Much like yesterday’s feature player Tim Bax, Blessing stepped up his game in the team’s biggest match-ups last year, He lead the team in tackles in wins over No. 15 Princeton and local rival Colgate on homecoming, 14-7 and 38-14 respectively. Look for Blessing to fly all over the field this season and lead the defensive unit in his last year of eligibility for Cornell.