January 25, 2008

Dannewitz set to play in All-Star game

Ryan Dannewitz and fellow Colorado pledge Vince Ewing were both selected to play in this Saturday's Southern California Bowl, which pits the top seniors from Orange, San Diego and Imperial County against the top seniors from Riverside and San Bernardino County.

Dannewitz will be playing for the "Island" team, while Ewing will be playing for the "Coastal" team.

Dannewitz is the first player from San Jacinto (Calif.) High's program to play in the "SoCal" Bowl.

"They have been practicing down in Orange County since Monday and he has been doing really well," said San Jactino head coach Bill Powell. "He is going to be starting in the game. We're really excited to go down there to watch him."

Dannewitz, a 6-foot-7, 285-pound lineman, put together another impressive season as a senior at San Jacinto. He started 57 straight games in high school dating back to his freshman year.

At first, Coach Powell did think Dannewitz was ready to start at the Varsity level. "But our offensive line coach (Rich McClure) did," said Powell. "He was a strength and conditioning coach and assistant line coach at the Division-1 level for 15 years. We didn't see eye-to-eye at the beginning because Ryan had never played football before high school. He was always too big, so he never played Pop Warner. So I thought he was just too inexperienced.

"But Coach McClure finally convinced me and he plugged Ryan in there at left tackle and he started every game at the Varsity level from the beginning of his freshman year through his senior season."

As a senior, Dannewitz was a first-team all-state, all-CIF and all-league selection. He was also named San Jacinto's Most Valuable Player for the 2007 season.

"Ryan played a lot more defense for us this past season, as well, he actually started both ways," Coach Powell explained. "The players he went up against certainly deemed it as a challenge and he got everybody's best shot every week. Obviously with the awards and all the recognition that he received, Ryan stood up to the challenge. He had a fantastic senior season. He had a great summer going into his senior season, really got his name out there, and he didn't do anything to disappoint."

Off the field, Dannewitz is an excellent student and he is involved in student government.

Dannewitz verbally committed to Colorado in late-October. After making that pledge, most of the other colleges that had been recruiting him respected his decision and stopped calling.

"Ryan did it the right way, the same day he committed to Colorado, he called everybody else that had been recruiting him and explained the situation," Powell added. "A couples time after that he did get a call from another program but he stood firm and said, 'Thank you very much, but I am solidly committed to Colorado and I don't want to waste your time or mine.'"

Linebackers coach Brian Cabral was responsible for his recruitment from the Buffs' staff.

Dannewitz won't graduate from San Jacinto until the middle of June so he won't be able to enroll at CU for the first summer school session, but he does plan to enroll at CU for the second session in June.

Dannewitz is ranked by Rivals.com among the nation's top 50 offensive tackle recruits from his class.

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