Luke Kuechly

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has shown toughness and grit since his Boston College days

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has shown toughness and grit since his Boston College days

It was the kind of hit that would have other quarterbacks questioning why they ever picked up a football in the first place.

Matt Ryan, then a red shirt sophomore at Boston College, took the snap, dropped back, and quickly scanned the field as he rolled to his right. Just as he dumped off a short pass to his running back, Ryan was flattened by 225-pound Clemson linebacker David Dunham, the chest shot hitting him like the butt end of a swinging log. Ryan’s head snapped forward violently, his helmet flew off and his chin bounced off his chest.

Video of the hit instantly went viral and now, a dozen years later, has more than a half-million YouTube views. But it’s what happened...

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