BY ROCKY STANLEY
THE DAILY INDEPENDENT
FLATWOODS Losing his senior football season to knee surgery only intensified Ryan Stump’s resolve to get back on the field.
That will be with perennial NAIA Top 20 contender Georgetown College. Russell’s standout defensive end signed a Letter of Intent on Wednesday.
“Everybody’s very supportive,” said Stump, glancing around the school’s crowded library at teammates, family and friends. “That means so much.”
Stump, a 6-foot-3, 230pounder, tore his left ACL in a preseason Grid-O-Rama on Aug. 12. He made his basketball return Tuesday night in a brief appearance and expects to receive full medical clearance on Feb. 20.
“Honestly, as much as I hate to say it, I think (going through) that helped me in the long run,” Stump said. “It humbled me. It helped me not to take anything for granted.
When something is taken away that fast, it makes you realize how much you love it.” Stump earned All-Area and All-Eastern Kentucky Conference honors as a junior. He was the second-leading tackler — and recovered two fumbles — for a Red Devil defense that allowed a Class 3A-low 149 points. Russell finished 10-2.
A combination of strength, quickness and tenacity made Stump a force, especially on the defensive side. In the weight room, his 2017 bench, squat, clean and dead lift totaled 1,375 pounds.
“We couldn’t block him in practice,” Russell assistant coach Tracy Edwards said.
Said Red Devils head coach T.J. Maynard: “Defensively, Ryan was the guy opposing offenses had to game plan for.
As he’s gotten bigger and stronger, he’s still been able to keep that speed. Georgetown is excited to get a healthy Ryan Stump back, and we’re very excited with the opportunity he has to help them next year.”
Stump will be reunited with former Russell teammate
Nick Conley. As a freshman for the Tigers, Conley saw action in two games and gained 53 yards.
“I stayed with Nick last week in his dorm,” Stump said.
“He’s been able to give me a lot of insight. Georgetown seemed like the best fit for me and to get my education.”
A high-level student, Stump plans to major in biology and go into pre-med.
Attending several summer camps at Georgetown provided somewhat of a preview for Stump.
“I kind of experienced what it would be like to go there,” he said. “I really liked the coaching staff. It seemed like they are in tune with their athletes. There was a family feel to it, like we have at Russell.”
Tigers head coach Bill Cronin has guided Georgetown to two national championships. During his 21 seasons, Georgetown has either won outright or shared the Mid-South Conference title 14 times.
“Georgetown’s always had a winning season,” Stump said.
“I hope I can bring something that will help us get a championship. I look forward to playing with Nick and a few other athletes from around the area.”
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