Ryan Mundy Interview
By: Tony Conty
Tony Conty: What schools showed you interest when you were coming out of Woodland Hills High School?
Ryan Mundy: I had my pick of schools down the East Coast, like Virginia, N. C. State, and a lot of Big Ten schools. My mother wanted me to get out of Pittsburgh for a bit and see more of the world.
Tony Conty: You, like so many others, participated in the Big 33 game between Pennsylania and Ohio. What is it about Western PA that produces so many college players?
Ryan Mundy: We have a strong passion for football here, so it is a great area for football. You grow up watching a lot of football and the sport is all that you know.
Tony Conty: Describe how your serious nerve injury affected the way that you view the game.
Ryan Mundy: It not only changes that way that you view the game, but also the way that you view life. You have to remember that football is not promised to you. You need to give 100% and have a heightened sense of awareness on every play and on every down.
Tony Conty: Was your reason for transferring entirely academic? (Wanted to move to school that offered a graduate program in his major)
Ryan Mundy: Not necessarily. I needed a change of scenery. I left Michigan on good terms, but this was a change for the better.
Tony Conty: How do you think that the fairly new rule of allowing post-graduate transfers has affected the game?
Ryan Mundy: You know, I actually did a research project on that. There are not too many guys who took advantage of that rule, outside of Benjamin Mauk (Wake Forest), Ryan Smith (currently of the Tennessee Titans), and myself. Itís a positive thing. Circumstances arose and I had to take advantage and pursue my education.
Tony Conty: What must a player do to establish himself on a defense with so many returners?
Ryan Mundy: I didnít look at it like that. I just tried to compete and play. I wasnít the type of guy that was used to playing on the second team. From Day One, I knew that they were a great group of players. I just got acclimated to the system and looked forward to some hard work.
Tony Conty: What is your opinion on how the Big East turned out as a whole this season?
Ryan Mundy: The Big East was competitive. The teams on the lower tier were competing higher than expected. I got to go against some great players who were not highly publicized.
Tony Conty: You had 3 picks this season and the best tape I saw on you was against Rutgers. What game stands out in your mind as your strongest performance as a team?
Ryan Mundy: As a team, I have to say Rutgers, but, against Maryland, we were also impressive on defense and offense. But against Rutgers, we faced a guy in Ray Rice that I really respect and we were pleased with how it turned out.
Tony Conty: What do you plan to work on in order to improve your marketability as an NFL player?
Ryan Mundy: I would say running. At the Combine, I need to get out there, run a good 40 and do well in the agility drills. I think that Iíll do well in the Defensive Back drills, but I need to stay sharp and keep running.
Tony Conty: You were given credit in many articles for being the key to the turnaround for WVUís defense. Who else can you single out for having stepped up?
Ryan Mundy: Oh, the ten other guys. They faced a lot of scrutiny and negative criticism. They were hungry to prove themselves and get some notoriety. They had a chip on their shoulders, collectively.
Tony Conty: Letís talk about the Backyard Brawl. Is there anything in hindsight that you feel that the team could have done to avoid the upset?
Ryan Mundy: In hindsight, there are always things that you can do. I feel that we were extremely prepared. It was just a matter of executing, things like knocking the runner back. I havenít really looked at any offensive tape, so I canít comment on that.
Tony Conty: Describe the differences between playing in the Big East and playing in the Big Ten.
Ryan Mundy: There is not too much, to be truthfully honest. The Big Ten is known for power football, but now you have Purdue running a spread offense and Michigan State doing that, too. Ohio State is running the spread sometimes, too. There are a lot of similar schemes and the level of competition is about the same. Several teams in the Big East were ranked for at least part of the year. We always focused on our conference record.
Tony Conty: Who were the toughest receivers that you faced in your college career?
Ryan Mundy: At Michigan, I had to go against the likes of Braylon Edwards, Steve Breaston, Adrian Arrington, and Mario Manningham in practice. We always said that if we went hard in practice, Game Day would be easy.
Tony Conty: What is your opinion on how Roger Goodell is taking a stand on off-the-field issues in the NFL?
Ryan Mundy: Itís good for the league. You are teaching guys about standing up and being accountable. You need to be careful, because the commissioner will be concerned about what people picture when they see an NFL game. He wants to protect the brand name that is the NFL.
Tony Conty: OK, now, a serious question: which Western PA cuisine is your favorite: Primantiís sandwiches, Quaker Steak wings, perogies, or kielbasa?
Ryan Mundy: Primantiís. I went to the Steeler game on Sunday and that was the first thing that I thought of when I got on the highway.
Tony Conty: Self-promote. Why should teams consider you in the early rounds of the draft?
Ryan Mundy: Iím a good player who is smart and athletic. Iím good in pass coverage and against the run. I am a balanced player. You have no worries about character with me. I am respectful and my parents taught me well.