Tigers lineman decides to play for Kansas school

Shawn Ryden

Shawn Ryden is the type of football player coaches love.

Ryden isn’t the biggest player on the field at 5 feet, 11 inches, 230 pounds, but plays with tenacity and isn’t afraid to be aggressive in the trenches.

Wednesday, the Grand Junction High School offensive lineman signed his National Letter of Intent to play football for Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kan.

“I’ve always wanted to play college football,” Ryden said. “I’m excited to get there.”

Ryden was a two-year starter for the Tigers, playing guard and center. He said he expects to play either position for the Coyotes.

“Shawn’s another guy we had that just loves football,” Grand Junction coach Robbie Owens said. “Kansas Wesleyan is a perfect opportunity for him.”

Ryden knew Kansas Wesleyan was the place for him when he went on his visit.

“I sent some film and they wanted me to make a campus visit,” Ryden said. “I went to other schools, but this was the best fit.”

Kansas Wesleyan is an NAIA school that plays in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference. Ryden said he’ll spend the next few months until he reports in August making himself a better football player.

“I going to work on my speed and strength,” Ryden said. “I want to make sure I can compete with the guys there.”

Ryden is the second Tigers player to sign to play in college. Linebacker Mitch Irwin committed to Northwestern Iowa in February.


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