How Ryan Glasgow went from Michigan walk-on to Bengals NFL draft pick
Ryan Glasgow jumped whenever his phone rang Saturday. The former Michigan defensive tackle hadn’t worried about phone calls too much the last two days — OK, maybe he did a little — but he was definitely expecting to get a special call on this day.
Glasgow was expecting to hear from an NFL team telling him it had picked him in the draft.
And when that call finally came, it had a 513 area code attached. It was the Cincinnati Bengals, telling Glasgow he was a fourth-round pick. Glasgow could breathe again.
“I’ve been sitting here anxiously in my living room for the past two days,” Glasgow said on a conference call with reporters Saturday. “I finally got a call from the Cincinnati area code, so I was ecstatic. You get sporadic phone calls you don’t recognize, you grab the phone and then it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s just my family.’
“It was nice to get a call. It was amazing. Really gratifying.”
Glasgow was joined in his wait by older brother Graham, who knew exactly what Ryan was experiencing. Graham got his call from the Detroit Lions in the third round last year, a call he turned into a successful rookie season in which he played all 16 games, starting 11 times at either left guard or center.
The Bengals host the Lions on Dec. 24 next season.
“Christmas Eve,” said Glasgow with a laugh. “Yeah, it’s going to be a great Christmas for the Glasgow family.”
‘He’s a lunch-pail type guy’
Graham and Ryan both came to Michigan as walk-ons before earning scholarships. Youngest brother Jordan, who also came to Michigan as a walk-on, will be a redshirt junior next season. He’s had a good spring practice session and is the backup at the viper position to Khaleke Hudson. Jordan has been in Italy this week with the rest of the Michigan football team.
— Ryan G (@GreatGlasby) April 29, 2017
So unbelivably proud of @GreatGlasby! The Bengals got a great player and a great man – see you on Sundays!
— Graham Glasgow (@gglasgow61) April 29, 2017
Good job @GreatGlasby
— Jordan Glasgow (@jrglasgow23) April 29, 2017
“He’s a lunch-pail type guy,” Cincinnati defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said of Ryan at a news conference in Cincinnati. “He was one of the guys who really stood out to us at the Senior Bowl. We watched (him) both as a pass rusher and an interior run defender, so we’re really happy to bolster our D-Line in both areas.”
Glasgow was one of three players — two defensive linemen — selected by the Bengals in the fourth round. Defensive end Carl Lawson of Auburn was taken with the No. 116 overall pick, WR Josh Malone of Tennessee was the No. 128 pick, and Glasgow was taken with pick No. 138.
Cincinnati is in a transitional phase with its defensive line. Ends Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson flank All-Pro DT Geno Atkins but long-time starting NT Domata Peko signed with Denver as an unrestricted free agent. Dunlap and Atkins will be entering their ninth seasons in 2017, while it will be Johnson’s 10th year in the NFL.
The Bengals, who had a streak of five straight playoff appearances snapped last season, are looking to get younger and faster across the board, but particularly on the defensive line.
Familiarity with new home
Michigan D-line coach Greg Mattison coached Dunlap when Dunlap was at Florida.
“We watched a bit of their tape,” Glasgow said. “I just know that they have a really athletic D-line. They’re all really good. Geno Atkins is a beast. So, there’s a lot of good guys on that defensive line.”
Glasgow said he hopes to show the Bengals he can be an every-down player at the NFL level, as he was for the Wolverines. He started 33 of the 45 games he played in his career at Michigan, making 91 tackles, with 18.5 tackles for loss. Glasgow had 9.5 of those tackles for loss last season, including 4 of his 5 career sacks.
“Glasgow is a technician. He has square shoulders, a flat back, and is a powerful kid,” Cincinnati defensive line coach Jacob Burney said. “That means a lot for a defense. They’ve done a great job with this kid at Michigan, and he’s taken a hold of the position with his mentality. That’s who he is; if you tell him to take a hold of the linebacker (position), he’ll get that job (done).”
Glasgow won’t go into his first NFL season blind. He has his older brother to draw advice from, plus he’s had two years playing under Jim Harbaugh, who coached at San Francisco before coming back to Michigan.
“He did run it like an NFL organization, which is good,” Glasgow said of Harbaugh. “It will help ease the transition. I know there will still be a learning curve, but I think I will be helped out by the fact that I played for Harbaugh.”