Navy defensive back Wave Ryder, he of “Jeopardy!” fame, is penciled in atop the depth chart at the Mids’ “rover” position to start the 2013 season. The senior from Hawaii is also making at least his third appearance on another preseason list: Athlon Sports’ college football All-Name Team.
He’s not alone, either — younger brother Blaze, a sophomore who enters the year as Navy’s backup center, also made the list, as did junior reserve defensive lineman Vin Rider. No relation.
No other service academies have representatives among the alliterative (San Diego State’s Christian Cumberlander), mythological (Colorado’s Thor Eaton) or just plain odd (Cincinnati’s Munchie Legaux) selections.
It’s becoming a trend: Navy was the only academy with representatives on the 2012 list (the older Ryder) and the 2011 list (Ryder and offensive tackle Dallas Butts). No lists are available at Athlon’s website prior to 2011.
There are no honorable mentions, but one would assume Army defender Tunde Akinniyi just barely missed the cut.
In an excellent family feature by Don Markus of The Baltimore Sun, we find out Wave’s name stems from one of his parents’ favorite reggae songs (groove here). As for Blaze, mother Wendy Ryder said she and husband Mike “wanted to give him fire” since Wave had water covered.
The Ryders (and Rider) and the rest of the Mids open up their season Sept. 7 at Indiana.