I have been struggling with my emotions regarding Ryan Nassib this year. Much like my feelings for HCDM I want Ryan to succeed if for no other reason then that he seemingly is a good person. The way the year started I thought it was finally a breakout year for him, the kind I always wished he would have. But even during his times of success, as the commentators and sports writers heralded him as a future NFL QB (which always felt wrong to me), I just couldn't drink the kool-aid.
I have been thinking about Ryan Nassib a lot over this past week and I finally was able to put thoughts together as to what bothered me.
Finally it hit me. As I yelled at Nassib for the 10th time this week and covered my eyes to hide my disgust, It was perfectly clear. Ryan Nassib is the football equivalent to Scoop Jardine. Now I am willing to admit this comparison may not work for everyone, but I believe it is extremely close when you give it sincere thought with a sprinkling of open mindedness.
Ryan is a decorated leader and senior on his team, just as Scoop was. Ryan has done everything asked of him by coaches, and has shown that he is better than others competing for his starting job. He is a leader and has a decent supply of self confidence (on this Scoop has him beat). But much like our old friend Scoop, we seem to have quite a few of the 'No, no, no, no! Yes!' moments with Ryan that we were all too familiar with during the reign of the Scoop.
Like Scoop, Ryan is a good but not great player. A player that for every seemingly great thing he does, it is quickly squashed by his next bone-headed play. And while I believe him to be competent at his position, he has glaring flaws that everyone tries to erase with statistics. With Scoop it was stupid turnovers, a similarity that Ryan shares with him to a painful degree. Both could be competent game managers, but when things hit the fan, they try to do too much and end up finalizing their own defeat.
Another similarity is that people seem to think that Ryan will play at the next level. There weren't many who thought Scoop could make the jump to the NBA, but enough did to make me scratch my head and wonder what they were seeing that I wasn't. Scoop would lock in on one player and force passes to them even when double or triple teamed. Then there was Scoop trying to throw a bonehead alley-oop to someone way out of range. But because of the wins, and Scoop's occasional late-game heroics (which we needed for him to dig us out of the holes he put us in), many thought he was good enough to play with the big boys. With Ryan, he was an future NFL quarterback on paper for the first three games of the season, but never passed the eye test. Anyone who watched the games knew that he can't throw an accurate deep ball (a NFL must), or for that matter throw deep well at all (everything was under thrown). He also can't change reads more than once, locking in on his primary receiver and then checking to the running back. He is seemingly incapable of making a secondary read, which he should be able to do as a senior. All of this screamed that he is not even close to being an NFL QB. Could he potentially surprise me and be a NFL bench warmer? Yes, I think Ryan does things well in a practice environment, which has helped him keep his job so far, and could help him land on a NFL roster.
The main difference between Ryan and Scoop is that Scoop was running a team of some of the Nation's top players and was able to split much of the leadership with other seniors. Ryan tries to do well with what he has, and what he has is a much less talented team than Scoop ever played with. Scoop was able to be bailed out of mistakes by all the ridiculously talented players on the team with him. When Ryan makes a mistake, there is no one like that outside of Marcus Sales who has bailed him out numerous times, but can only do so much.
I know this comparison isn't exactly apples to apples, and many of you will be sure to tell me to keep my day job when it comes to writing, but this comparison has brought me some peace of mind. The frustration I feel for Nassib is eerily similar but not as severe as the sheer disdain I had for Scoop. I always hated that he seemed to make an amazing team mediocre by helping opponents stay in the game. With Ryan, I know he does his best and I admire his work ethic, I just hope it pays off and he is able to leave with me comparing him more to G-Mac than Scoop.