Football: Hinsdale Central’s Ryan Callen picks Miami, Ohio
Days after making a verbal commitment, Ryan Callen was looking forward to watching his future college football team make a rare appearance on ESPN.
Callen committed to Miami, Ohio, Sunday night while making a phone call to the RedHawks’ recruiting coordinator. Callen watched as part of a nationwide audience Wednesday night as Miami, Ohio, played at Temple at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. But ESPN switched the game to ESPNU in the third quarter to broadcast the press conference announcing the firing of legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno.
Since Callen’s cable system does not carry ESPNU, he ended up watching the rest of the game on an ESPN streaming website. He had to watch on his computer as Temple won 24-21 on a game-winning field goal.
Callen’s solid season as a 6-foot-3, 270-pound right tackle for the playoff-bound Devils eventually paid off. When starting running back Teddy Kwasigroch injured his hand early in the season, Hinsdale Central evolved into a dominant passing team with Callen blocking for junior quarterback Brian Owens. Owens completed 67 percent of his passes this season for 1,843 yards, 12 TDs and threw five interceptions. The Devils (6-4) lost to Mount Carmel 28-14 in the first round of the Class 8A playoffs.
“One thing [before the season] they said to me is that, ‘We see right now how you play, but we want to see senior tape,’” Callen said of Miami coaches. “We made some tape from a few games, sent it and they must have liked it. They came through with a scholarship offer.”
Callen hopes to study computer science at the Cincinnati area school. Callen follows former Hinsdale Central defensive lineman Matt Kajmowicz to Miami, Ohio, Kajmowicz was a junior for the RedHawks last season, but could not return this season due to an injury,
Callen and Kajmowicz are among five Division I recruits for the Devils in the past five years. Callen is the latest in line of college linemen that includes Northwestern’s Jack DiNardo, Illinois’ Scott McDowell and Michigan State’s Jack Allen. Callen agreed that Devils sophomore defensive lineman Brian Allen could join the list as a future prospect.
“He has a good role model as do the other kids, but especially [for Brian] since his older brother has been successful,” Callen said.
Callen believes Hinsdale Central’s recent run of Division I prospects is partly due to the ability of the youth Falcons program’s success at developing linemen.
“We have a lot of big kids compared to other towns,” Callen said.
At Miami, Ohio, Callen would join other Chicago area players that include linebacker Joseph Donlan (Oak Park-River Forest), running back Dan Green (Walther Lutheran), defensive lineman Mike Johns (Oak Forest), linebacker Max Keefe (Lake Forest) and offensive lineman Zach Lewis (Prospect).
Callen said he doesn’t know what his future plans are for the track and field season in the spring. He was 25th at the Class 3A state meet in the shot put and was one of the top discus throwers in the West Suburban Silver last season.