By now, we’re all familiar with the phenomenon of a player that was once a superstar and became a star.
For some of us, the story is more personal.
As an NFL player, we see a star on the field, but it can take years before a player becomes a star in the NFL.
So when a player takes off and becomes a superstar, they have a very different path to follow.
On Tuesday, former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan became the first NFL player to make the jump from the college ranks to the NFL, but his story is not unique.
Ryan was a standout quarterback at Miami (Fla.)
College in 2006 and 2008, earning all-conference honors for the Hurricanes as a senior.
He also earned the league’s Most Outstanding Player Award in 2008 and led the ACC in passing yards in 2011.
But Ryan never had the chance to become a star after his college career.
In 2010, Ryan transferred to Southern Miss and spent the next two seasons playing in a pro-style offense at the school.
But his playing time was limited and his production dropped off.
He eventually retired from football in 2012.
In 2014, Ryan signed with the Dallas Cowboys and was a key piece in the team’s Super Bowl run.
During his time in Dallas, Ryan earned two Pro Bowl nods and earned the Pro Football Focus all-pro team in 2012 and 2013.
In 2016, Ryan was named a first-team All-Pro after leading the Cowboys to the NFC Championship Game, and he was named NFL Offensive Player of the Year.
Since then, Ryan has found success in the private sector, serving as a corporate advisor, a philanthropist and even an actor.
He is currently developing a documentary about his journey.
Ryan is a native of Fort Myers, Fla., and his father, Scott, is a professional wrestler.
In 2012, Ryan became an undrafted free agent and signed with Buffalo Bills as a tight end.
His first full season in the Bills’ offense came in 2017, when he played in 15 games.
He finished the year with four receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown.
He was a backup in the playoffs and did not play in the Super Bowl.
Ryan played his first NFL game in 2019.
He became a free agent in 2020 and was signed with Miami Dolphins in the offseason.
He spent his first two seasons with the Dolphins before signing with the Buffalo Bills in the 2017 offseason.
In 2018, he signed with New York Jets, where he spent the first two years.
Ryan made seven starts for Buffalo, including a career-high five starts in 2018.
He missed most of the season due to an injury to his left ankle, and finished the season with one start.
Ryan earned All-America honors as a junior at Miami, which led the school in total offense.
In 2019, he transferred to Georgia Tech and played in 11 games.
Ryan started all 11 games and recorded 1,036 yards passing and 17 touchdowns.
In 2020, he was selected as a third-team all-ACC pick by the AP.
In 2021, he became a first-, second- and third-round draft pick of the NFL by the league and was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the first round.
The following year, Ryan joined the Cleveland Browns.
He made eight starts for the Browns, throwing for 2,717 yards and 17 scores.
In 2022, he received his first Pro Bowl nod and led all rookies with six touchdowns.
He played his final NFL game, with the Indianapolis Colts in 2021.
He retired after the 2021 season.
Ryan has been a member of the Pro Bowl in four of the past six years.
He has made two All-Star Games and won three Super Bowls with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
He has also been a recipient of the Hank Aaron Award, given to the nation’s top quarterback.
Ryan earned the Hank Young Award, the Bob Barr Award and the Marvin Harrison Award as a quarterback.
He earned the Vince Lombardi Award, which is given to college football’s top defensive player, in 2018, and was named to the Walter Camp Football Hall of Fame in 2019, which was his final season in professional football.
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