/notables/2003/relevance-not-lost-on-hoag

Relevance not lost on Hoag

More news about: Gustavus Adolphus
Photo by Tom Dahlin

In 1999, Ryan Hoag, then a freshman at Wake Forest, overslept and missed soccer practice, effectively ending his soccer career. Instead of playing soccer elsewhere, he returned to his native Minnesota, enrolled at Gustavus Adolphus, and proceeded to learn the game of football, which he hadn't played since junior varsity in high school.

The only Division III player invited to the NFL's scouting combine, he posted a 40 time of 4.51 seconds and impressed enough to convince the Raiders to take him with the last pick in the draft, making him 2003's Mr. Irrelevant. Pat Coleman caught up with him by phone Sunday evening.

D3: When you overslept and missed your soccer practice at Wake Forest, did you envision your college career ending up like this?
RH:
Maybe the ‘irrelevant' part in terms of sports, but not the ‘Mr. Irrelevant' part. Obviously, a person always has dreams, but with football I never expected to take it to this level.

D3: When did you first hear about the significance of Mr. Irrelevant?
RH:
Our running back, Andy Traetow, actually told me about it. ‘Hopefully you're Mr. Irrelevant.' He was telling me about the perks I'd never heard about. It piqued my interest. Even though I've talked to 10 people trying to tell me, I still don"t know what it entails. I"m just blessed to get drafted.

D3: You probably didn't have any serious thoughts about going in Day 1 of the draft, but they certainly strung you out in Day 2.
RH:
Absolutely. I had to be realistic. Once upon a time I had heard I could slip into the late third round, but this whole past week I heard from 15 teams and it looked like I would be a late second-day guy. I never figured to be the last pick in the draft. With all the calls I was receiving I figured I wasn't going to be drafted at all.

D3: How many teams did you talk to on Sunday?
RH:
I was told by the Cowboys in the sixth round that they were looking at drafting me, and then I heard from the Packers, Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Houston. I was offered a contract if I slipped through from Dallas, San Francisco and Houston.

D3: When did you hear from the Raiders?
RH:
About 10 seconds before they said it on TV. I got a call from a woman from the Raiders and I just figured it was another free agent offer, but she said, ‘Can you hold, I"m going to transfer you to Coach (Bill) Callahan's phone.' I ended up hanging up on him accidentally because we were so excited.

D3: What do you know about the Raiders and your chances there?
RH:
I know they drafted one receiver, that was a position they were going to be looking at. I feel that's one of the best sits for me. I'm not expecting to go in and compete for a starting position. It'll be an honor to be in camp with my hero, Jerry Rice, a small-school guy. His workout in general has always been what's impressive to me. I know they drafted Teyo Johnson, who"s kind of an H-back, big-type receiver. I think I can help in the return game immediately and bring some speed they might not have so much of.

D3: Do you feel like you're carrying the weight of Division III on your shoulders, or can you let guys like Bills linebacker London Fletcher do that for you?
RH:
The only weight I'm carrying on my shoulders is the expectation I'm having for myself and that's probably more than anyone else has for me. I'm planning on meeting and exceeding my expectations. I'd love to represent Division III, so in that sense it's an honor, and I have every intent of putting Division III on the map.

Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Recap Photos Box Score
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Nov. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Wesley at Brockport
12:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Mount Union
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio Tickets
12:00 PM
Frostburg State at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Husson at Delaware Valley
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Berry at St. Thomas
Video Live stats Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
Video Live stats Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Linfield at Mary Hardin-Baylor
1:00 PM
Trine at Wartburg
Video Live stats
Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Muhlenberg 32, at Carnegie Mellon 6
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score
Final
at Franklin and Marshall 21, Widener 7
Video Box Score
Final
Susquehanna 28, at Albright 9
Video Box Score
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Framingham State 48, Curry 14
Video Box Score
Final
Cortland 35, at Union 28
Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Final
at Ithaca 27, Salisbury 17
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at WPI 17, SUNY-Maritime 3
Box Score Recap
Nov. 19: All times Eastern
Final
at Alfred 29, Stevenson 16
@ University of Delaware
Video Box Score Recap