NASHVILLE, Tenn. – There’s one story, one, that comes to mind.
Because over the past several years around senior quarterback Ryker Fyfe, only one stands out. Because it was really the only time any of the coaches have ever seen Fyfe act out of character, but a moment that perfectly explains the enigmatic Fyfe.
Because here’s the thing: Fyfe, who will likely start on Friday for just the third and final time in his career in the Music City Bowl, isn’t a talker.
He’s short with the media. He’s short with teammates. During the coaches’ singing routine on Tuesday night, he hardly cracked a smile.
And it’s not that he’s void of emotion.
“He’s a little bit more fiery than you’d think,” offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf said.
But, to get a word out of him, senior wide receiver Alonzo Moore said, is pretty difficult.
Even outside of the locker room, when sophomore offensive guard Nick Gates goes to Fyfe’s house to chill with teammates and play FIFA on X-Box, the quarterback hardly says a word.
“That’s Ryker,” Gates said. “He’s always just a straightforward guy. He doesn’t show too much emotion.”
Which is why the story the coaches love to tell about Fyfe is so subtly funny, so subtly interesting, and so totally Fyfe.
It goes like this.
In practice one day this season, Fyfe was thrown into a drill at the last second to take the last repetition.
Fyfe dropped back, found an open guy, and threw a perfect ball on a seam route.
“It was just a seam throw on a line, right in the hole, perfect depth and everything,” running backs coach Reggie Davis said.
“I was all fired up,” said wide receivers coach Keith Williams, “and I was like, ‘Ryker, that was a great pass, man!'”
Fyfe smirked, walked by the coaches, and in a low, cold, emotionless voice said: “You like that, don’t you.”
The coaches lost it.
“Didn’t even crack a smile,” said Davis, laughing. “Just like he does it all the time.”
“Just emotionless. Just like a sniper, he just goes, ‘You like that don’t you,'” Williams said, retelling the story.
It was funny for two reasons:
- Fyfe, the four-year backup, isn’t a trash talker. Or even a talker. So for him to drop a line like that in practice, that was just too good.
- Though, out-of-character, the snarky comment summed up Fyfe perfectly, Langsdorf said. He’s not a talker, but when he does say something, he means it.
With senior quarterback Tommy Armstrong, you’re prone to an earful every now and then, if you mess up.
Not Fyfe, Moore said.
“He’s not going to say nothing, he’s not going to yell at you, but he’s going to do what he’s gotta do to show you,” Moore said.
Cockiness mixed with shyness. Confidence exuding from an introvert.
“It’s unreal,” Williams said. “If you didn’t know him you’d be think like, what’s wrong with this guy? But until you get to know him you learn that’s just his personality.”