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Not An Average "Rudy"

Cool story from the Daily News on UCLA running back Ryen Carew. Ryen is not your typical average walkon player you can find in high profile D-1 football programs:

It's been five years since Carew rushed for 2,095 yards at Sylmar High and four years since he rushed for more than 1,900 yards at Verdugo Hills High. The time in between has been a lot like the rollingup and back along the field punishment he was doing after practice the other day as he fought for attention as a walk-on and fought his way back from a devastating knee injury.

But now, finally, Carew is getting his chance. With UCLA's top two tailbacks, Chris Markey (foot) and Derrick Williams (concussions) out of spring practice, Carew is getting a long look in the backfield. At last Saturday's scrimmage, he led the Bruins' running backs with 68 yards on 10 carries.

"It's great to see how he's persevered. From being a walk-on, to coming back from his knee injury, he's really worked hard," said UCLA defensive end Kenneth Lombard, who was Carew's roommate last year. "It's just great to see him out there, getting a chance to play now. He's having a great spring and I think he's turning some heads."

On this day though, those heads were shaking in disappointment. You see, Carew is no average walk-on. He didn't mess up on the scout team this time. He's fast enough, strong enough and good enough to play at this level. He's always known that.It has just taken him a really long time to get here.

After his junior season at Sylmar, he was getting letters from the heavyweights of college football -- Miami, Nebraska, Colorado among them. Every once in a while, he even let himself pictured himself in schools like those, with 90,000 fans screaming his name.

But in the offseason, he started having, shall we say, irreconcilable differences with Sylmar coach Jeff Engilman. That led to Carew transferring to Verdugo Hills, which is basically the high school football equivalent of transferring from UCLA to Antelope Valley College.
Read the whole story on Ryen. He eventually found his way to Westwood. He was making an impression via the scout team before injuring his knee. Now he is back in the picture again because of injuries to Markey and Williams.

From the story it sounds like he may emerge as a viable option to provide some depth at the TB spot, taking away a possible excuse for Dorrell not winning the Pac-10 in this upcoming season.