Aside from his 117 career tackles, 16 sacks, six force fumbles, two interceptions returned for touchdowns and 12 passes defensed, Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan is just like me and you.
When he isn’t at work, he likes to hang out with friends and family, go to the movies, hit the links or sneak in a workout. When he goes home to Muncie, Ind. in the offseason, he still does chores to help out around his family home.
He quotes Family Guy. He holds doors for strangers, makes solid eye contact and always tries to answer questions with sincere, thoughtful responses. He is the consummate Everyman on the Washington Redskins, which tend to go under appreciated in the age of high-profile athletes.
His hometown newspaper, The Muncie Star Press, recently caught up with 2012 Pro Bowler to see what kind of life he lives during the offseason months.
But ever-humble, Kerrigan is probably best described by the people who know him best:
John Hochstetler, Ryan’s football coach at Muncie Central High School, confirms that Kerrigan has been on his current path to personal and professional success for the last decade.
“Rarely is it the best person you coach is also the best player that you coach,” Hochstetler says. “All of the guys that played with him or know him wouldn’t be offended at all by me saying that about Ryan. He is a phenomenal person, and then at the same time, he’s a phenomenal player.”
Kerrigan also ropes tight end Logan Paulsen into the interview, considering Paulsen is probably the teammate that knows him best. Paulsen recently celebrated his one-year anniversary with his wife, but said Kerrigan is the only player he would let date his hypothetical future offspring.
“He’s a guy that I have a lot of respect for,” Paulsen says. “I always tell my wife, if there’s one guy on the team I’d want my daughter to date, it would be Ryan Kerrigan.”
The most illuminating response from Kerrigan is with regards to his celebrity and fame, which grew from college standout, to first-round pick, to rookie wonder and sophomore Pro Bowler.
Unlike some athletes who can’t handle the burden of signing their John Hancock for fans, Kerrigan is willing. He’s just a little shy.
“You get people every now and then in Muncie and the Washington area, and they’ll say, ‘Hey, how are you doing? Can I get a picture or autograph?’” Kerrigan says. “That’s fine. I’m cool with that. It’s just a little embarrassing to me, because I get a little shy when I feel like attention is being put on me.
“That’s the only thing that makes me feel a little weird, but it’s part of it and part of the deal. I’m fine with it.”
The full three-page article is well worth the read, as it includes nuggets from Ryan Kerrigan’s past and present that don’t necessarily play themselves out in Washington.