Ryan Boyle has put himself into position to do something that's believed to be a first at his high school - start at quarterback as only a sophomore.
Dowling Catholic (West Des Moines, IA), historically one of the state's top programs, never has had a No 1 QB younger than a junior, according to Boyle.
"The coaches prepared me when I was a freshman to do something that hasn't happened here," the 6-2, 190-pounder said. "I'm honored by it and hoping that I can to do my very best to perform to my highest ability."
Boyle played part time last season as a freshman. The limited exposure has him on the radar of college scouts.
"I'm staying around Dowling this year so I can better myself and hopefully learn the offense as well as the coaches," Boyle said. "After my sophomore year I will try to go to other camps like Wisconsin and Notre Dame and try to get more exposure from them."
Dowling wide receiver Amara Darboh drew national interest from schools before signing with Michigan in February. Maroon senior-to-be Jon Wisnieski so far has accumulated seven scholarship offers, including Iowa, Iowa State and Nebraska.
"(Boyle) has a chance to be real good," Downing Coach Tom Wilson said. "He's only a sophomore, though. He has a lot to work to do."
Boyle became attracted to the quarterback position at an early age. He's been working on improving his skills there ever since that time.
"It was probably my dad when I was two years old," Boyle said. "We lived in Georgia and we were big football fans. I was watching (UGA) play and told my dad that I wanted to be a quarterback. From then on, I've just tried to do it the best that I can."
In 1999, the Boyles moved from Georgia to Iowa. When Ryan joined the Des Moines Catholic League football program in the sixth grade, former Iowa quarterback Chuck Hartlieb took the young signal caller under his wing.
"He coached me and worked on perfecting my skills," Boyle said. "We worked on throwing and timing and have built on all aspects of the position since then."
Boyle credits Wilson, a former quarterback, and his staff for helping him grow since he's joined the Dowling program. He and his sister have been commuting from Newton to the school (55 minutes each way, according to Boyle) for the last four years.
"It's been a big commitment, but it's really been worth the while for our family and for me," Boyle said. "A family friend encouraged me to play in the catholic league and I've loved it ever since."
Boyle trusts Wilson to guide his development as a player and in the recruiting process.
"I hope to go to a D-I school to play," Boyle said. "The important stuff will be education and the prestige the school has academically and football wise. I want to fit there and for them to help me be the best that I can be."
Boyle said the biggest area of focus for him this summer is improving his speed and footwork. He's looking to add weight.
"I also want to work on my throwing mechanics," Boyle said. "I'm working on the high release so I can have the maximum velocity that I need on my passes."
Boyle reports running a 4.6-second, 40-yard dash.