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2015 Miami Football Recruiting: OL/DL Ryan Mullen Talks Commitment to RedHawks

Ryan Mullen has lofty career aspirations outside of football, but he's a solid grab for the RedHawks, and a poster child for the type of player new coach Chuck Martin wants: smart, tough, ready to work.

Ryan Mullen

Earlier this spring in a Q&A with Sports Illustrated, new Miami head coach Chuck Martin discussed the school's rigorous academic standards at length, going so far as to say he sees Miami's academic prestige as a tool, not a hindrance.

... just because you wore cool uniforms in college that's not going to feed your family when you're 30. If you don't understand that, shame on you. If you're looking for all the bells and whistles, you're looking for pretty gadgets or a marketing tool, we're not that. We'll give you one of the best educations in the country and you can come play for a football program that's going to win championships.

That mentality seems to be working for Martin early on in the 2015 recruiting process. Like some of the earlier commits to the 'Hawks 2015 class, Ryan Mullen, a 6-foot-3, 270 pound lineman from Lakes Community High School in Lake Villa, Illinois was swayed heavily by Miami's academic stature.

"Miami is a tremendous academic university," Mullen told Hustle Belt when asked why he picked the RedHawks over offers from Ball State, WMU, Colgate and Harvard.

"As soon as I got there I felt like I was at home. The coaching staff is absolutely tremendous. They've got a brand new staff there, brand new coaches. They're awesome guys. It's a great fit, it's a great education, and it's close to home."

Mullen wants to become an anesthesiologist, and will pursue pre-med while in Oxford, Ohio. Medicine is something he's been interested in for a long time, and at Miami he has an opportunity to pursue his career choice while playing Division I football at the FBS level, something the Ivys couldn't offer.

As for that football opportunity, Mullen wasn't put off by the glaring 0-12 record the RedHawks put up in 2013.

"I'll tell you one thing, that record that [Miami] had last year, and the previous years before that under the previous coach means absolutely nothing to me ...," he said.  "Now they have a completely new coaching staff in Chuck Martin and his staff. They know what they're doing. I can just tell that when I talked to them. I can just tell that when I talked to [Martin] that he knew what he was doing. I can just tell that he is going to turn the program around."

The chance to be a part of a rebuilding process was as attractive as the academics at Miami. So too was Martin's working-man approach to things.

"When I went to Miami to talk to him and I sat down, you know he's wearing athletic shorts and a t-shirt. He's not out there to try to impress you with flashiness."

It's that exact working-class mentality that seems to be working on the recruiting trail, and landed the 'Hawks another young lineman with a promising future. Mullen, who currently plays both ways in high school, isn't quite sure where he'll wind up at on Miami's roster. He said the main intention in recruiting him was for center, but that defensive line isn't off the table either.

"I'm just there to do what's best for the team. Obviously I love playing football."