Former Dowling Catholic quarterback Ryan Boyle talks about his decision to commit to play football at Iowa and his plans to compete for a starting job on day one.
Ryan Boyle was a fourth-grader when he introduced himself to Dowling Catholic football coach Tom Wilson with a declaration that one day he'd become the starting quarterback for the Maroons.
Six years and one fulfilled guarantee later, he made another vow to his coach. After a torn knee ligament ended his sophomore season and a quarterfinal loss turned the Maroons into championship-round spectators, Boyle told Wilson they'd never pay to watch another title game together.
Now, after back-to-back state championships and a pair of Gatorade state player of the year awards, Boyle is set to take on another set of challenges at Iowa. The state's most heralded quarterback is expected to sign a letter of intent Wednesday with the Hawkeyes.
So what kind of guarantees is he making to Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz and offensive coordinator Greg Davis?
"I haven't made any promises yet, but when I've had visits with them I've told them I'm not coming in there looking to redshirt," Boyle said. "I'm coming to compete and get the job as a freshman. That's my goal."
This is the confident and competitive side of Ryan Boyle. This is the side that produced 7,609 yards and 97 touchdowns on the field and a Dowling bench-press record (360 pounds) in the weight room.
This is the side that makes the 6-foot-1, 215-pound senior eager to get his hands on Iowa's playbook, memorize the terminology and challenge incumbents C.J. Beathard and Jake Rudock for the starting job next fall.
"I think he's the kind of guy who can really develop into something special," CBS Sports Network recruiting guru Tom Lemming said.
There's also a polite and mild-mannered side to Ryan Boyle. He's a Dowling student ambassador who serves as a campus tour guide for prospective students and speaks to younger children at grade-school and parish visits.
"He's been a tremendous ambassador just for Dowling Catholic," Wilson said. "Football is a small part of that puzzle. It's more about who Ryan is as a person and how he is around people. He's a leader in everything that he does."
Boyle first caught the attention of Iowa's coaches at a summer camp in the months leading up to his junior season. Davis pulled him aside afterward and told him Ferentz would like to meet with him.
The head coach of the Hawkeyes said they'd track his progress throughout his junior season and remain in touch.
Boyle led the Maroons to a 14-0 record that fall and produced 45 touchdowns, including six in a title-game rout of Cedar Rapids Xavier. A couple months after the championship game, Ferentz invited him to Iowa City to extend a scholarship offer.
At the time, the Hawkeyes had three scholarship quarterbacks on their roster — Beathard, Rudock and freshman Tyler Wiegers — and two more in the fold for the 2015 class. Iowa has since parted ways with former commit Jack Beneventi and it remains to be seen how the Hawkeyes plan to use Drew Cook, a 6-5, 220-pound senior who quarterbacked Iowa City Regina to two state titles but has the size and athleticism to project at other positions.
It's unclear, too, how Boyle might fit into Iowa's pro-style offensive scheme. At Dowling, he operated out of a shotgun spread attack that highlighted his running skills as much as his passing ability.
"I would think they'll change their style of play if Ryan becomes the guy," Wilson said. "One of the things I have told him is: 'They're not going to change their style of play for somebody who's number two or three (on the depth chart). You've got to become the guy and then they'll start designing things around you.' "
Wilson said Boyle is ready for the next step in his career. The Dowling coach said his quarterback is "locked in on what he wants to do."
"There's no doubt in my mind he'll be successful," Wilson said. "Not only do they get a kid with quarterback skills, but they're going to get somebody who can help lead the program."