UGA commit Ryne Rankin in hog heaven 

April, 19, 2012
New Georgia linebacker commit Ryne Rankin (Orlando, Fla./ East River) is a throwback to another era of football, when toughness and grit mattered more than spread options and 40 times. Speaking with him evokes images of leather helmets and players like Bronko Nagurski. Rankin likes to hit people, and he learned it young.

[+] EnlargeRyne Rankin
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comEast River coach Marc Rankin is also the dad of new UGA commit Ryne Rankin, whom the coach says he has watched develop into a formiddable linebacker.
“Back when I was probably 7 years old, I was at football practice and going against a kid that was maybe 10 years old, way bigger than me, and he kept hitting me and knocking me down,” Rankin said. “My dad kept telling me to get up. ‘Get up, boy.’ I remember that. So I kept getting hit by this kid and I was crying and I was mad -- I didn’t want to play football anymore. My dad said, ‘Run right at him and put your face mask right between his numbers.’ And I did that and the kid fell on his back and he started crying. I said, ‘I got this now.’ Then I started hitting people. I looked up and my dad was smiling.”

Rankin’s father is still proud of his son and star player. Marc Rankin is the head coach at East River and has watched his son develop into a devastating inside linebacker.
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