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Super Bowl: Former OSU lineman Ryan McBean used injury rehab time to finish degree

A fractured and dislocated ankle ended McBean's season in August. It might have been one of the best things to happen in his life.
By Anthony Slater Published: January 28, 2013
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photo - Baltimore Ravens defensive end Ryan McBean (98) heads off the field after an injury during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Baltimore Ravens defensive end Ryan McBean (98) heads off the field after an injury during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

After an offseason of work and a month of grueling two-a-days, Ryan McBean's football season was over before it started.

In many ways, it was an NFL player's nightmare.

McBean, on a one-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens and essentially fighting for his next professional payday, was rolled up on during the first half of the first preseason game in Atlanta. His left ankle was fractured and dislocated.

His season was over before mid-August. His future was unclear.

“When my foot was facing the direction it wasn't supposed to be facing, I figured, ‘Yeah, OK. Something is wrong,'” the former Oklahoma State defensive end told a Baltimore radio station at the time.

Might have been one of the best things to happen in McBean's life.

With some newfound free-time in his hectic football life, while he sat at home and slowly recovered from the six-month setback, McBean decided to sign up for a full slate of online classes.

He left Oklahoma State in 2007 relatively close to finishing his degree. And he finally had the opportunity to make that longtime goal a reality.

“I promised myself and my friends and family that I would go back,” McBean said on the phone earlier this week, days before heading to New Orleans with his Raven teammates for the Super Bowl. “I believe things happen for a reason.”

He still attended team functions and position meetings, even roamed the sidelines on Sundays, but much of the 28-year-old's week was filled with schoolwork.

And the dedication paid off.

McBean missed the Ravens' Dec. 17 home loss to Denver. He didn't make it to the stadium. Wasn't even in the state. McBean had informed his coaches earlier in the week that he'd be attending his graduation ceremony in Stillwater that weekend.

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