Ryan Van Bergen
Scout.com Player Video
Defensive End 6-5/250/4.9
Whitehall HS (Whitehall, MI)
NR: **** - Position Rank: 8
His Recruiting Story
Ryan Van Bergen first came to the attention of Michigan coaching staff after
an impressive camp performance prior to his junior year. It was during
that session that Wolverine defensive line Coach Steve Stripling saw the
upside for the then LB/TE at defensive end.
"That was my first time ever playing the defensive end spot," Van
Bergen said. "That's why I was kind of nervous going into camp.
It was a brand new position for me but my coach was having me make that transition
for my team in high school. I went in as a d-end and I had never played d-end
before. I wasn't the best at the beginning. I had to learn stances and stuff,
but I'm really responsive to Coach Stripling's coaching techniques. By the
end of the camp I was one of the top 5 or top 10 defensive linemen there with
seniors and everything."
After an standout junior campaign in which he registered 59 solo tackles, 32
tackles for loss and seven sacks from his defensive end position) he received
offers from Indiana, Purdue, Western, Michigan State, and Miami of Ohio. Then
on April 4th after visiting a spring practice he got the offer that he had
been waiting for.
"My family was sitting in Coach Carr's office and we talked for about
40 minutes," Van Bergen said. "About 30 minutes into our conversation
he told me that he had a scholarship for me. My brother saw me almost pass
out (laughing). I went to their summer camp as sophomore going into my junior
season and I actually met Coach Carr then. I was the outstanding defensive
lineman at the camp. From then on they invited me down to some games. I could
tell that they were interested, but that they were going to offer was a complete
shock because it never seemed like they were more interested than they were
at any other point. I had no clue it was coming. It was way unexpected."
"I did not commit right away because my mom had never seen the facilities
down there before," he continued. "It had always been my brother,
me, and my dad. After talking to coach Carr and thanking him for the offer,
we went down to the new student academic center, which is amazing. I got to
meet the professor of psychology, John Hagan. That is what I want to major
in. Michigan really rolled out the red carpet in that sort of sense. My mom
was really impressed with the academic facilities and the campus. They took
her, my dad, and my brother on a tour of the campus while I sat in on a D-line
meeting. Coach Stripling introduced me to every single guy there and they all
were very welcoming. They gave me the time of day, which was surprising considering
the caliber players they were. Then we went to practice and I met up with my
mom and dad after they got done with the tour. I told them I was ready to commit
and they gave me the thumbs up."
Ryan Van Bergen may be the most underrated player in Michigan's 2007 class. During
the 2006 Michigan summer camp, the 6-5, 250-pounder was flat out dominant. He
blew by or overpowered every lineman he faced, finishing with a perfect record
in the one-on-one drills. He has an excellent burst off of the snap,
above average strength, and very good speed and change of direction for his
size. His most impressive trait is his non-stop motor. He will definitely
be a snap to whistle player for every play that he is on the field. He
has great potential as an edge rusher, but could also slide inside if his services
are needed at defensive tackle. He is even versatile enough to project as an
offensive tackle or tight end (where he had 20 catches for 275 yards and
four touchdowns as a junior and 19 receptions for 258 yards and three TDs
as a senior).