Ryan Cummings had a pretty solid advisor when deciding where to train after his senior season at Wyoming. Last year, the offensive lineman was undergoing therapy at Landow Performance in Centennial, Colorado, when 2015 Heisman Trophy runner-up Christian McCaffrey gave him a suggestion.
“He looked at me, and he’s like, ‘You need to be here,’” said Cummings, who played with McCaffrey at Valor Christian High School in Colorado. “You take that to heart. You’re like, well, this is one of the best football players in the country, and he’s telling you you need to be here.”
McCaffrey isn’t Cummings’ only NFL connection. Just last year, former Wyoming offensive lineman Chase Roullier was drafted by Washington in the sixth round. Roullier, who ended up starting for the Redskins by the end of the year, also trained at Landow Performance.
“Oh, it’s huge,” Cummings said of Roullier’s success before him. “Wyoming probably wasn’t even known for any linemen. Maybe D-linemen, but offensive wise, yeah, everyone looks at him, and Chase was my roommate. Chase was my buddy.
“Sometimes you’re like, ‘Is he a football player?’ Just because of how nice he is. He’s always dressing well, super smart kid, and people wonder if he’s even a football kid. And then it’s like, man, this kid does nothing wrong. People see that we did have a good coach and athletes can come from anywhere. You just have to give them that chance, and Chase got that chance and took it.”
Cummings signed with agent Tom Mills of Boulder, Colorado. He is also training with Natrona County graduate Taven Bryan, who played at Florida; Colorado State wide receiver Michael Gallup; Colorado running back Phillip Lindsay and numerous former members of the Colorado State offensive line.
Cummings hopes to be the second Wyoming offensive lineman in as many years to catch on with an NFL program.
“The word on the street right now is last couple rounds to undrafted free agent,” Cummings said. “Right now, if I have an amazing Pro Day and jump off the charts, I could have that chance of being in those last two rounds. But no matter what he’s thinking undrafted free agent if worst comes to worst.”
Cummings said he has heard some doubts about his athleticism, and he hopes to disprove that at Wyoming’s Pro Day on March 23. He has lost 25 pounds and is now down to 305-310, he said.
“This definitely will be the biggest job interview of my life,” he said. “It should be good. I’m excited to kind of show all those scouts and all those really important people my talents.”
Cummings moved from right tackle to left guard before his senior season at Wyoming, when he also battled spinal meningitis and a concussion. Cummings hadn’t played guard since high school, when he also spent two years at center. He hopes that his versatility will be a selling point.
“You’ve got to play every position, left side, right side, guard, tackle, even possibly snapping the ball,” Cumming said. “And I’ve played all those in my life.
“... From all the crazy stuff I’ve had, from the concussion to the illness and all that, I think it definitely shows not a lot of people can do that. Switch from left side to right side to left side, switching positions, I don’t think a lot of guys can do that. And that’s one thing that’s on my side right now is I’m super versatile.
“And that’s why in that Pro Day I just have to show them that an I’m an athlete and can do these things and can jump off the charts of being one of the best linemen.”
Until then, he’ll get to see how he stacks up against some elite talent.
“Just the caliber of guys we have kind of pushes all of us,” Cummings said. “… Guys want to push it and they want to beat their numbers. … You get yourself in front of people who know what they’re doing and the scouts and everything and you get that one shot and things can change.”
This is the first in a series of stories about members of the 2017 Wyoming football team hoping to play at the next level.