|San Francisco 49ers|
|Born:||July 28, 1984|
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||247 lb (112 kg)|
|High school:||Jess Lanier (Bessemer)|
|NFL Draft:||2006 / Round: 2 / Pick: 33|
|As a player:|
|As a coach:|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at NFL.com · PFR|
DeMeco Ryans (//; born July 28, 1984) is an American football coach and former linebacker who is the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). Ryans played college football at the University of Alabama, where he was named a unanimous All-American.
He was selected by the Houston Texans in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft where he was recognized as the Defensive Rookie of the Year. He was selected to two Pro Bowls before being traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2012, where he spent four seasons before retiring. He joined the 49ers as a coaching assistant in 2017 and coached their linebackers for a few years before being named their defensive coordinator in 2021.
Ryans was born in Bessemer, Alabama. He attended Jess Lanier High School in Bessemer, where he played high school football. In his senior season, he had 135 tackles, 11 sacks, two forced fumbles, and two interceptions. Considered a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Ryans was listed as the No. 39 inside linebacker prospect in the nation from the class of 2002. He picked Alabama over Mississippi State.
Ryans attended the University of Alabama, where he played outside linebacker for coach Mike Shula's Alabama Crimson Tide football team from 2002 to 2005. Ryans started his career by earning a role on special teams and back up linebacker in his first season. By making great improvements every year in his college career, Ryans went on to become the SEC's Defensive Player of the Year for his performance in 2005. Later on, Ryans attributed much of his college success to his defensive coordinator at Alabama, Joe Kines. He was named the 2006 Cotton Bowl Classic defensive MVP in their 13–10 win over Texas Tech. Following his 2005 senior season, he received the Lott Trophy for his combination of athletic excellence and off-the-field achievements, and was recognized as a unanimous first-team All-American.
Awards and honors
- 2006 NCAA Top Eight Award (Class of 2006)
- 2006 Cotton Bowl Classic – Defensive MVP
- 2005 Consensus first-team All-American
- 2005 SEC – Defensive Player of the Year
- 2005 First-team All-SEC
- 2005 Lott Trophy
- 2005 Bednarik Trophy Semifinalist
- 2005 Butkus Award Finalist
- 2005 Draddy Award Finalist
- 2005 Nagurski Award Finalist
- 2005 Lombardi Award Semifinalist
- 2004 Second-team All-SEC
National Football League
|Height||Weight||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yard split||20-yard split||20-yard shuttle||Three-cone drill||Vertical jump||Broad jump||Bench press|
|6 ft 1+1⁄4 in
|4.69 s||1.67 s||2.73 s||4.18 s||7.19 s||39 in
|10 ft 9 in
|All values from NFL Combine|
Ryans was selected with the first pick of the 2nd round (33rd overall) in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Texans. He was the highest selected Alabama linebacker since Dwayne Rudd was drafted 20th overall by the Minnesota Vikings in 1997. Though he had been an outside linebacker in college, he earned the starting middle linebacker position due to his excellent performance in the preseason. In his first game, he recorded a league-high 12 solo tackles. Ryans had an overwhelming impact as a rookie linebacker for the Texans, leading the team in tackles in the first half of the 2006 season.
Ryans was awarded named the AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after finishing second in the league with 155 total tackles (Zach Thomas 165), 31 more tackles than the next rookie (Detroit Lions linebacker Ernie Sims). Ryans was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2007. On March 30, 2010, Ryans signed a six-year extension worth $48 million, including $21.75 million guaranteed.
On March 20, 2012, after Brian Cushing replaced Ryans as starting middle linebacker, Ryans was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for a 2012 fourth-round draft pick (used on Ben Jones) and a swap of third-round picks between the two teams (used on Brandon Brooks and Nick Foles) Ryans was immediately inserted as the team's starting Middle Linebacker. Although the Eagles were 4-12, Ryans still made plays, leading the team in tackles with 113 while adding a sack and interception.
In 2013, Ryans improved even further, leading the team in tackles once more with 127, while also recording career highs in sacks (4.0), interceptions (2), and interception return yardage (46). On January 4, 2014, he had 10 tackles and his first career playoff interception in his first career playoff game with the Eagles, a close 26–24 loss to the New Orleans Saints. On November 3, 2014, Ryans was placed on injured reserve after tearing his Achilles tendon. Ryans was released on February 24, 2016.
NFL career statistics
|^ Named Rookie of the Year.|
† Named to the Pro Bowl.
‡ Named to the All-Pro team.
San Francisco 49ers
On February 28, 2017, Ryans was hired by the San Francisco 49ers as a defensive quality control coach. In 2018, Ryans was promoted to inside linebackers coach. On January 18, 2021, Ryans was promoted to defensive coordinator following the departure of Robert Saleh, who left to become the head coach of the New York Jets.
Ryans and his wife, Jamila, have three children: two sons, MJ and Micah, and one daughter, Xia.
- "Inside linebackers", Rivals100, February 5, 2002
- "DeMeco Ryans, Alabama, 2006 NFL Draft Scout, NCAA College Football". draftscout.com. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
- "DeMeco Ryans, Combine Results, OLB - Alabama". nflcombineresults.com. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
- "DeMeco Ryans 2006 NFL Draft Profile". insider.espn.com. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
- Les Bowen (May 24, 2012). "Linebacker DeMeco Ryans mans the middle for the Eagles". philly.com. Retrieved August 29, 2012.
- Patra, Kevin (February 24, 2016). "Philadelphia Eagles cut veteran LB DeMeco Ryans". NFL.com. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
- "John Lynch makes first public comments following Foster's latest arrest". KNBR-AM. February 28, 2018. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
- 49ers, San Francisco (January 18, 2021). "49ers Announce Coaching Promotions". www.49ers.com. Retrieved January 18, 2021.
- Martin, Keiana (January 18, 2021). "5 Things to Know About 49ers New Defensive Coordinator DeMeco Ryans". www.49ers.com. Retrieved January 18, 2021.