The Daily Pennsylvanian sat down with football junior Ryan Cragun to ask 15 questions. Here's what he had to say.
1. Can you introduce yourself?
I’m Ryan Cragun. I’m from Southern California, Dana Point, Calif. I’m studying finance, and I play receiver on the football team.
2. What have you been doing this summer?
I had a job at a law firm near my house this summer. So I was in the office for a few weeks, and then we got moved to work from home, so I was working virtually. And then besides that, I was just working out as much as I could. My boss actually happened to own a gym, so I had access to that for most of the summer. But yeah just working out whenever I could, trying to stay ready for a season, and just working.
3. Are you in Philadelphia this semester?
I came back to Philly last week, and I’m staying right off campus.
4. How did you hear of the news of the Ivy League season being canceled, and what was your reaction?
I think I first heard about it in our football group chat, and I was disappointed, to be honest. Obviously, I was hoping that — I kind of saw it could be a possibility — but obviously I was holding out hope that the Ivy League would figure out a way to let us play. But I guess I just try to take it in the best positive way I could and just kind of look forward to maybe hopefully playing in the spring, or just getting ready for whenever we will play again. So really I can just use it as an opportunity to keep getting better, but I definitely was disappointed.
5. What has the team been doing to stay active and in touch? Are you able to work out at Franklin Field?
I would say everyone’s pretty active in the group chat, and all the guys who are back at school have been kind of trying to find ways to get together in small groups, whether it’s working out or just hanging out for a little bit. Like we got a chance to throw one day, but we did all the social distancing stuff. So we’re just doing what we can, trying to keep the — between the receivers, I know we’ve been talking about getting together and working out — so we’re going to do what we can, obviously.
We got on the Frank over the weekend, but that was before school started. I’m pretty sure it might be closed now. I was just right outside of Penn Park, like on the grass. We couldn’t go on the field; we were just on the little lawn. I think the coaches have been saying that they’re working with the administration to see if we could get access to that stuff, but as of right now, I don’t think they know for sure.
6. What do you miss most about not being with all of your teammates right now?
I’ve been talking about it a lot with my friends actually. Now is the time where camp is, and camp is just pretty much 24/7 football and 24/7 you’re with your best friends on the team. So I definitely miss that right now, just the whole atmosphere of coming back to campus, coming back to football, working hard with everyone, and stuff like that is definitely the biggest thing that I miss about it right now.
7. How different do you think playing football in the spring, and potentially without fans, will feel compared to playing in the fall?
Obviously, I think it will feel a little different. I don’t think you could really do anything about that, but I think with Coach [Priore] and with all our coaches, they’ll have us focused like it’s a normal season. I don’t think we’ll really — at the end of the day, when it’s game-day, I feel like we’ll be ready, just as a normal game.
8. Looking back to last season, how were you able to make such a big jump from your freshman year?
So really, I worked really hard over the summer coming in. I knew that there was a chance that I could play. But really, it came down to our new offensive coordinator, coach Morris, giving me the opportunity, and then also [quarterback] Nick Robinson really trusted me, really got me the ball a lot. The way our offense is designed, I was just put in a position where it was kind of on me to succeed, and I was just kind of able to do what I could. So I don’t know. It wasn’t really anything spectacular that I did. I just kind of had the opportunity handed to me from working hard, and I just kind of did what I could with it.
9. Is there anything that you’re looking to improve in your game before next season?
Definitely my speed, like my run after the catch I want to improve. And getting into the end zone because I got stopped short a few times, and I’d like to have a few more touchdowns probably.
10. You’re now listed on the roster as No. 2. Why are you changing your number from 89 to 2?
I don’t know. I never got to pick my number. I was always a single-digit number. There was no real reason, I just kind of wanted to reserve it. I heard yesterday that they changed it on the website. I still haven’t fully decided what I’m going to wear next year, but I don’t know, it’s kind of hard to leave 89, but I might want to do a new look. I don’t know, I haven’t decided. I’ve worn 5 my whole life since I was a kid, but that’s Justin Watson’s number, so I kind of just left it. I really liked Reggie Bush at the time when I first started playing football. One of our assistant coaches when I was seven years old on my first team just handed me the No. 5 jersey after the first practice, and I’ve just kind of had it ever since.
11. How have online classes been for you?
It’s been good. It’s definitely been an adjustment. It was hard sort of at first to stay disciplined, but really all it comes down to is just being disciplined, going to class, paying attention, and just kind of taking responsibility. It’s definitely an adjustment, but it’s not too bad.
12. Have you picked up any new hobbies during quarantine?
Definitely golf. I’ve always golfed a little bit, but over quarantine, I was going at least once a week. I was trying to get one round a week, maybe two. I kind of stink, but I’m getting better, so that’s all I can ask.
13. What’s your favorite food spot on campus, and is it currently open?
It’s kind of hard to say. I really like &pizza, it’s one of my favorites. Near campus, it’s probably &pizza. And yes, it is open. You’ve got to wear a mask, but you can go in there.
14. What’s one thing you haven’t been able to do during quarantine that you wish you could?
I don’t know. I guess just sitting down in a restaurant with my family. My family couldn’t really go out to eat like we normally would. I miss that. I don’t know, just being able to be in public and normal with large groups of people and not having people worry. I don’t know, just getting back to normal, I guess. There’s really nothing in particular I’ve missed too much. I’ve still been able to go to the beach at home. I was going to the beach as much as I could, really. But I don’t know, because I was able to golf and go to the beach, so I really can’t complain too much.
15. What are your plans after you graduate?
Obviously, I’m going to keep trying to get better at football. If I have two more seasons, hopefully we’ll see, maybe I can keep playing. But I just want to kind of — I guess my goal is to get into finance. I’m studying finance. I want to hopefully work in New York, some sort of banking job, something like that. But yeah, I would like to hopefully play football as long as possible, but obviously I’ve got to get a lot better and I’ve got to keep having good seasons, so we’ll see.
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