Ryan Aplin Interview
QB / Arkansas State

Updated - 6-4-12

By: Alex Khvatov


Alex Khvatov:  What are your measurements (height, weight and forty time)?

Ryan Aplin:  I am 6’0 , 200 pounds, 4.63 is my lowest time. 

Alex Khvatov:  Coming out of high school, what programs showed interest in you?

Ryan Aplin:  Campbell, Charleston Southern, Jacksonville University and Arkansas State came in the end with their offer.

Alex Khvatov: 
What made you choose Arkansas State?

Ryan Aplin:  When we went for my visit, I liked the family atmosphere.  I knew that I would be comfortable right away.  Coaches wanted their players to graduate.  There was commitment to education.  I loved the head coach.  I fell in love with the fans that brought you in. 

Alex Khvatov: 
Describe your junior season during which your team won 10 games. 

Ryan Aplin:  We had Illinois and Virginia Tech to start the season.  I wish we had beaten them.  I didn’t play well against Virginia Tech.  We had a very close game against Western Kentucky in the beginning of the season.  We won, and it turned our season around.  It set the tone for the rest of the season.  We were very close as a team last year.  We had great attendance for voluntary workouts in the summer.  Team chemistry was very important.  Everyone trusted each other.  We took to coaching from everyone.  It is unlike any other atmosphere that I have been around.  I will never forget it.

Alex Khvatov: 
You threw 16 interceptions during your junior season, how tough was it to deal with that high number of mistakes?

Ryan Aplin:  It was just making mental errors.  I was forcing balls into tight coverage.  I trusted my arm a little too much.  It was a very high percentage rate.  I was very hard on myself.  It was very unacceptable.  I know what I need to do in order to become a more consistent passer.  I had only one pick during spring ball this year.   

Alex Khvatov: 
Tell me about the win against Troy that sealed the outright Sun Belt Conference title for you.

Ryan Aplin:  Everything was on the line during that week.  We had back-to-back 4-8 seasons before that.  We didn’t want to share the title.  We took care of business.

Alex Khvatov:  The season ended on a sour note with the loss in a Bowl Game against Northern Illinois.  How difficult was it to handle it?

Ryan Aplin:  I took it very personally.  I wanted to see the seniors go off on a high note.  I had an awful game.  It was a learning experience.  I made some bad throws.  It was definitely tough.  I haven’t watched the full game tape because it is tough to handle.  I get very angry after I go back and watch it.

Alex Khvatov: 
Describe your former head coach Hugh Freeze who took the job at Ole Miss.

Ryan Aplin:  He was awesome.  He built the relationships on and off the field.  He treated us like we were his own kids.  We keep in touch with him.  I hope to see him again in the future.  He affected my life.  He taught me some things I didn’t know.  He made me a better man.

Alex Khvatov: 
What have you learned about your team after spring practices?

Ryan Aplin:  The offensive system is pretty similar to coach Freeze.  But it is also a bit different because the new offensive system is all about playing fast and up-tempo.  We realize how hard we need to work in order to have a successful season.  This summer will be a test.  Spring is the foundation offensively and defensively for the fall.  

Alex Khvatov: 
What are your expectations for the senior season?

Ryan Aplin:  I would say from a team standpoint we need to play all four quarters.  We need to play the full game.  People need to watch extra film and put in the extra work.  Personally, I need to work on my footwork and being smart with the ball.

Alex Khvatov:  Describe your new head coach Gus Malzahn. 

Ryan Aplin:  He is awesome.  He is a great man.  I like the way he carries himself.  He has a little bit of a swagger.  He wants the best out of you.  He will let you know if you are not doing it right.  He will bring his best every day, and we need to bring the best every day.


Alex Khvatov:  What are your strengths?

Ryan Aplin:  Big thing for me is communication.  I communicate with the receivers well.  I can sit back in the pocket and I can also throw on the run.  I have a quick release.

Alex Khvatov:  What areas of your game do you need to improve upon?

Ryan Aplin:  I need to work on my footwork.

Alex Khvatov: 
What is the highlight of your career up to this point?

Ryan Aplin:  I would say the Western Kentucky game.  We got a big stop on fourth and one on defense.  Then we scored the go-ahead TD with 30 seconds left.  We won.  This game changed our whole season around.  We took off as a team.  It was a turning point.  We had a lot of pride as a team.  We knew what we wanted to accomplish.  We wanted to win the conference.  It was a dream of mine to be on top of the conference standings.

Alex Khvatov: 
Which players on your team are ready for a breakout season?

Ryan Aplin:  Nathan Harold (LB), Starson (DE) and Taylor Stockemer (WR). 

Alex Khvatov: 
What do you enjoy most about football?

Ryan Aplin:  Being out there with my teammates.  We are very blessed to play football because not everyone gets this opportunity.  Enjoy it to the fullest.  I hate losing the most.  I want to win in everything that I do.

Alex Khvatov: 
What is your favorite NFL team?

Ryan Aplin:  My favorite team is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  It is my home town team.

Alex Khvatov: 
Who is your favorite NFL player?

Ryan Aplin:  Drew Brees.  I like to watch him play.  It is someone who gives me motivation.
Alex Khvatov: 
What does it take to be a leader?

Ryan Aplin:  I think that on and off the field, it is somebody that can be a role model.  You need to go to class, work hard during practice and put in the extra work in the film room.  It is someone that can pick people up when the team is down.  It is someone that can make the play and turn the momentum around when the team needs it. 

Alex Khvatov:  What are your hobbies?

Ryan Aplin:  I like to play golf in my spare time.  I shoot hoops and play ping pong.  Football takes up most of my time. 

Alex Khvatov:  Finish the sentence, Ryan Aplin is…

Ryan Aplin:  Humble, caring and I put people before myself.  I am very competitive, not only in football.  When I am playing my girlfriend at something, I want to win.



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