Matt Ryan at the NFL Combine
|Atlanta Falcons — No. 2|
|Date of Birth: May 17 1985|
|Place of Birth: Exton, Pennsylvania
|National Football League debut|
|No regular season appearances|
|Career Highlights and Awards|
|College: Boston College|
|NFL Draft: 2008 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3|
|Career stats to date|
|Stats at NFL.com|
Matthew Thomas Ryan was born on May 17, 1985 in Exton, Pennsylvania and is currently a quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons. He was drafted by the Falcons third overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. He played college football at Boston College.
From the 2005 season through 2007, he was Boston College's starter, leading them to three bowl victories and a 25-7 record in 32 starts. He has thrown for 200 or more yards 15 times and is fifth all-time in school history in passing yards and in pass completions. He also earned MVP honors at the 2005 MPC Computers Bowl. In 2007, Ryan led his team to an ACC Atlantic Division championship and was named ACC Player of the Year.
Matt Ryan attended The William Penn Charter School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he was a three year starter for coach Brian McCloskey. He gained All-City first-team honors in 2002 and second-team honors in 2001. He was a three-time All-League selection. He was captain of the football, basketball, and baseball teams. 
Ryan was red shirted in the 2003 season. Before the 2004 season, he was named backup due to an injury to Quinton Porter. He saw his first action on October 2, 2004 against the UMass Minutemen. He completed two of three passes for 16 yards. He completed his first touchdown on November 20, 2004 against Temple on a 32-yard completion to Larry Lester. Replacing the injured Paul Peterson, he completed eight of 15 passes for 121 yards. He made his first collegiate start on November 27, 2004 in the final game of that season, completing 24 of 51 passes for 200 yards against Syracuse. He also played against North Carolina in the Continental Tire Bowl. He completed one of his two passes for 13 yards. Matt was also quite proficient in the classroom, and was awarded the 2004 Freshman Male Scholar-Athlete award that same year.
At the beginning of the 2005 season, Ryan was named the second string quarterback behind Quinton Porter. Porter had some success at the beginning of the year, including winning Atlantic Coast Conference player of the week for his performance in Boston College's 28-17 win over Virginia. After a 30-10 loss to third-ranked Virginia Tech, coach Tom O'Brien finally went to Ryan for good in the 4th Quarter of the next game against North Carolina. In ten games (five starts), he completed 121 of 195 passes for 1,514 yards. He had eight touchdowns and five interceptions. He also had five rushing touchdowns and 94 yards. He started his first bowl game in the MPC Computers Bowl versus Boise State. He completed 19 of 36 passes for 256 yards and a career-best three touchdowns.
Ryan started 11 of 12 games. He completed 243 of 398 passes for 2,700 yards, 14 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He also ran for three touchdowns. He was All-ACC first-team and led the ACC in total offense (242.2 yards per game) and in passing yards (245.5 yards per game). He was named ACC Offensive Back of the week 3 times. He set career highs in completions (32 vs. Central Michigan) and passing yards (356 vs. Brigham Young). He led the team to a 8-3 record including double overtime wins versus Clemson and Brigham Young. He led the Eagles to a close 25-24 victory on December 30, 2006 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl against Navy in Charlotte, North Carolina. In the season opener against Central Michigan, Ryan sprained his ankle. Against Virginia Tech, Ryan broke his foot on the same leg. Despite these injuries, Ryan only missed one game (against Buffalo).
Before the season started Ryan was named to the preseason All-ACC team. Against Wake Forest, he completed 32 of 52 passes for 408 yards and 5 touchdowns. He continued his hot streak versus Georgia Tech, going 30-44 with 1 TD and passing for a career-high 435 yards against the staunch Tech defense en route to a convincing 24-10 road victory. After this game, Ryan was suggested as a potential Heisman Trophy contender. Battling Virginia Tech through bad weather in Blacksburg, Virginia, Matt Ryan led an amazing comeback for the Boston College Eagles passing for two touchdowns with less than 3 minutes to play on October 25, 2007. However, Matt Ryan's chances to win the Heisman fell sharply after he threw three interceptions in a 17-27 loss to Florida State, an unranked team that had six wins and three losses. However with a strong performance against Clemson his chances were raised substantially. On November 24, against ACC rival Miami, Ryan surpassed Doug Flutie for the most passing touchdowns in a single season by an Eagle QB with 28 TD's. Despite these records, he struggled with throwing interceptions throughout the year, and finished with 19 (2nd most among college quarterbacks).
Matt Ryan was awarded the 2007 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given annually in the United States to the Nation's most outstanding college football senior quarterback. He was selected to play in the 2007 Senior Bowl. He also won the 2007 Manning Award.
Regarded as a "can't miss" Franchise Quarterback. Number 1 on Mel Kiper, and Todd Mcshay (ESPN Draft Experts) postition board
ESPN Analyst and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young said that the drafting of Ryan would close the Michael Vick chapter in Atlanta. Vick is in jail because of dog fighting, and is currently suspended. Vick will most likely be released in December 2009. Young believes that by taking Ryan instead of a lineman or other position of need, the Falcons have found their new face of the franchise and speculated that they will have nothing to do with Vick when he is released. Although, Young was partially wrong about this as Vick is scheduled for release on July 20, 2009, so could be able to play in the 2009 NFL Season, Ryan's second year.
Ryan was drafted third overall by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2008 NFL Draft. He was second first-round pick of the year to sign when he agreed to a six-year contract on May 20. The contract had an overall value of $72 million and contained $34.75 million in guaranteed money. The contract made Ryan the 3rd highest paid player in the NFL behind Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, despite never having played a professional game.  In addition, Ryan has signed an endorsement deal with Nike.  He enters the 2008 season competing against former insurance agent Chris Redman and veteran Joey Harrington for the Falcons' starting quarterback position.
- Grittiness at the helm - The Boston Globe
- Boston College's Matt Ryan Named ACC Player of the Year. acc.com (2007-11-28). Retrieved on 2007-12-01.
- Player Bio: Matt Ryan :: Football
- Player Bio: Matt Ryan :: Football
- Player Bio: Matt Ryan :: Football
- Boston.com Local Search - Boston Globe Archives
- Blaudschun, Mark. "Ryan, BC prove to be buzz saw against Georgia Tech", The Boston Globe, boston.com, 2007-09-16. Retrieved on 2007-09-16.
- NFL teams weigh Wonderlic tests - ChicagoSports.com
- Wyche, Steve. Falcons ink QB Ryan to 6-year deal. Retrieved on 2008-05-20.
- Falcons pay steep price for face-lift - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
- Matt Ryan Signs with Nike Despite Michael Vick Connection. Retrieved on 2008-05-22.