/notables/2003/relevance-not-lost-on-hoag

Relevance not lost on Hoag

More news about: Gustavus Adolphus
Photo by Tom Dahlin

In 1999, Ryan Hoag, then a freshman at Wake Forest, overslept and missed soccer practice, effectively ending his soccer career. Instead of playing soccer elsewhere, he returned to his native Minnesota, enrolled at Gustavus Adolphus, and proceeded to learn the game of football, which he hadn't played since junior varsity in high school.

The only Division III player invited to the NFL's scouting combine, he posted a 40 time of 4.51 seconds and impressed enough to convince the Raiders to take him with the last pick in the draft, making him 2003's Mr. Irrelevant. Pat Coleman caught up with him by phone Sunday evening.

D3: When you overslept and missed your soccer practice at Wake Forest, did you envision your college career ending up like this?
RH:
Maybe the ‘irrelevant' part in terms of sports, but not the ‘Mr. Irrelevant' part. Obviously, a person always has dreams, but with football I never expected to take it to this level.

D3: When did you first hear about the significance of Mr. Irrelevant?
RH:
Our running back, Andy Traetow, actually told me about it. ‘Hopefully you're Mr. Irrelevant.' He was telling me about the perks I'd never heard about. It piqued my interest. Even though I've talked to 10 people trying to tell me, I still don"t know what it entails. I"m just blessed to get drafted.

D3: You probably didn't have any serious thoughts about going in Day 1 of the draft, but they certainly strung you out in Day 2.
RH:
Absolutely. I had to be realistic. Once upon a time I had heard I could slip into the late third round, but this whole past week I heard from 15 teams and it looked like I would be a late second-day guy. I never figured to be the last pick in the draft. With all the calls I was receiving I figured I wasn't going to be drafted at all.

D3: How many teams did you talk to on Sunday?
RH:
I was told by the Cowboys in the sixth round that they were looking at drafting me, and then I heard from the Packers, Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Houston. I was offered a contract if I slipped through from Dallas, San Francisco and Houston.

D3: When did you hear from the Raiders?
RH:
About 10 seconds before they said it on TV. I got a call from a woman from the Raiders and I just figured it was another free agent offer, but she said, ‘Can you hold, I"m going to transfer you to Coach (Bill) Callahan's phone.' I ended up hanging up on him accidentally because we were so excited.

D3: What do you know about the Raiders and your chances there?
RH:
I know they drafted one receiver, that was a position they were going to be looking at. I feel that's one of the best sits for me. I'm not expecting to go in and compete for a starting position. It'll be an honor to be in camp with my hero, Jerry Rice, a small-school guy. His workout in general has always been what's impressive to me. I know they drafted Teyo Johnson, who"s kind of an H-back, big-type receiver. I think I can help in the return game immediately and bring some speed they might not have so much of.

D3: Do you feel like you're carrying the weight of Division III on your shoulders, or can you let guys like Bills linebacker London Fletcher do that for you?
RH:
The only weight I'm carrying on my shoulders is the expectation I'm having for myself and that's probably more than anyone else has for me. I'm planning on meeting and exceeding my expectations. I'd love to represent Division III, so in that sense it's an honor, and I have every intent of putting Division III on the map.

Oct. 13: All times Eastern
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Bridgewater State 24, at Mass-Dartmouth 22
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at UW-Whitewater 21, UW-La Crosse 14
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Oct. 14: All times Eastern
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Salve Regina 45, at Nichols 10
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Mount Ida 14, at Dean 7
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at Thomas More 59, Waynesburg 7
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at Maine Maritime 34, Coast Guard 16
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at Finlandia 27, Trinity Bible 21
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Hamilton 28, at Bowdoin 7
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at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
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at Olivet 47, Albion 26
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at Wesleyan 41, Bates 23
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Union 27, at Rochester 0
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Amherst 40, at Colby 7
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at Western New England 41, Endicott 14
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at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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at Plymouth State 16, Framingham State 13
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at RPI 27, Ithaca 14
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Hobart 49, at Hartwick 27
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at Ferrum 34, LaGrange 20
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at Carnegie Mellon 42, Geneva 27
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Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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DePauw 26, at Denison 17
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at Trine 42, Kalamazoo 7
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at Washington and Lee 47, Guilford 26
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at Husson 49, Castleton 0
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Gallaudet 35, at Alfred State 19
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at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
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Brevard 41, at Methodist 17
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at Lebanon Valley 31, Stevenson 24
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Buffalo State 24, at St. Lawrence 21
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at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
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at Randolph-Macon 52, Emory and Henry 29
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at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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at Hampden-Sydney 58, Apprentice 28
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Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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at N.C. Wesleyan 45, Greensboro 0
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at Westminster (Pa.) 49, Grove City 27
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Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
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at Westminster (Mo.) 56, Crown 15
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 29, Iowa Wesleyan 7
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at Knox 56, Grinnell 14
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at Widener 31, Lycoming 17
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Trinity (Conn.) 23, at Tufts 16
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at Mount St. Joseph 66, Earlham 7
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Ohio Northern 27, at John Carroll 20
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Baldwin Wallace 23, at Muskingum 20
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at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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Rose-Hulman 44, at Manchester 13
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at Hanover 31, Bluffton 28
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Defiance 45, at Anderson 0
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at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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Hiram 62, at Kenyon 56
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Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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Williams 27, at Middlebury 26
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at Westfield State 33, Fitchburg State 21
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Marietta 43, at Wilmington 33
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at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Curry 40, at Becker 0
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TCNJ 20, at Rowan 14
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at SUNY-Maritime 51, Anna Maria 15
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Salisbury 28, at Montclair State 10
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at Huntingdon 28, Maryville (Tenn.) 16
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at Austin 33, Millsaps 19
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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at Washington U. 55, Buena Vista 20
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Alma 27, at Aurora 19
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at Rockford 29, Concordia-Chicago 14
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Wisconsin Lutheran 22, at Concordia (Wis.) 19
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at Lakeland 57, Benedictine 21
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at St. Norbert 10, Chicago 0
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Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
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St. Olaf 22, at Augsburg 20
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Bethel 24, at Gustavus Adolphus 3
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St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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at Eureka 30, Greenville 19
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Centre 27, at Trinity (Texas) 21
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Dubuque 42, at Nebraska Wesleyan 27
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Central 30, at Coe 19
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Lake Forest 56, at Cornell 28
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at Carthage 31, Elmhurst 8
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at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Millikin 28, at Augustana 27
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Ripon 52, at Beloit 28
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MacMurray 49, at Minnesota-Morris 13
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Macalester 21, at Lawrence 18
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at Monmouth 59, Illinois College 14
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at UW-Stevens Point 26, UW-Eau Claire 3
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Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
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at Wooster 38, Oberlin 28
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Texas Lutheran 41, at East Texas Baptist 34
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at UW-Stout 21, UW-River Falls 16
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UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Sewanee 34, at Birmingham-Southern 13
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at Hope 22, Adrian 3
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Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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La Verne at Occidental
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Whitworth 17, at Pacific Lutheran 14
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at Cal Lutheran 42, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 20
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at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
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at Pacific 35, Puget Sound 27
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Pomona-Pitzer 45, at Whittier 23
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at Western Connecticut 28, Massachusetts Maritime 21
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at St. Scholastica 56, Martin Luther 21
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at St. John Fisher 39, Utica 36
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at Heidelberg 48, Otterbein 45
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at Shenandoah 38, Bridgewater 20
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Southwestern 60, at Belhaven 31
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Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
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at Louisiana College 52, McMurry 34
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at Simpson 38, Luther 17
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at Chapman 45, Redlands 26
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Oct. 16: All times Eastern
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
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Oct. 14: All times Eastern
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at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
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Final - OT
at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
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Final
at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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Final
Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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Final
at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
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Final
at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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Final
Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
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Final
Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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Final
at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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Final
at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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Final
at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Final
Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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Final
St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
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Final
Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
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Final
UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Final
Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
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Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
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Oct. 16: All times Eastern
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
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