Welcome back to another edition of our 2020 Countdown to Kickoff series! With just 85 days to go until the Oklahoma Sooners are set to open the 2020 season, today I’ll be highlighting one of the all-time greatest to ever don the Crimson & Cream (and a personal favorite of mine) — WR Ryan Broyles.
Coming out of Norman High School in 2007, Broyles definitely wasn’t flying under the radar locally. Still, nobody could have predicted the heights to which his collegiate career would ascend to when his time at OU was all said and done.
After redshirting his first year at Oklahoma, the dynamic receiver quickly made a name for himself on the big stage of Big 12 football. During that ‘08 season, Broyles appeared in 13 of Oklahoma’s 14 games, and his 46 receptions for 687 yards and six touchdowns helped the Sooners reach the BCS National Championship game.
Beginning with his sophomore season, Broyles’ status among the FBS ranks sky-rocketed. As a weapon in the slot, he was lethal. And when he wasn’t carving up defenses inside or underneath, he was inflicting damage in chunks on the outside. Not only was he a phenom on offense, he also made plays in special teams as a punt returner. Check out this epic 87-yard dagger to effectively put away the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Bedlam ‘09.
8⃣5⃣ Days Until ️ .— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) June 12, 2020
Ryan Broyles currently ranks 3rd all-time on the NCAA career receiving yards [4,586] and receptions  lists.
He could also return punts...#OUDNA | #BoomerSooner pic.twitter.com/cK7mNMbOOj
As a junior and senior, Broyles was named a Consensus All-American and a First-Team All-Big 12 receiver. After a grand total of 48 games played, he racked up an absurd 4,586 receiving yards and 45 TDs on 349 receptions (briefly an FBS record for career receptions), placing him atop the program record books in every category. He also amassed 1,194 punt return yards and two more TDs over the course of his career. Considering Broyles went down with an ACL injury as a senior with four contests left to play, his lead in the statistics department could have been even greater than it already is.
Following his days with Oklahoma, Broyles was selected by the Detroit Lions with the 54th overall pick in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. There he spent three seasons while battling injuries before walking away from the game. A chance to return to the field came around with the XFL and the Dallas Renegades, but the playmaker ultimately chose retirement before ever playing a down for the start-up pro league.
Broyles is back in his hometown, where he’s made a number of big investments (notably as part owner of The Porch on Campus Corner). He’s also gained some notoriety for his fiscal responsibility, as he notably stuck to a budget of $60,000 a year during his time in the NFL. In short, it’s safe to say that 85 has adjusted quite well to life after football.
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