By Michael Streavel '07
Photo credit: Carolina Panthers
Ryan Kalil '03 has played an illustrious career in football. Everyone knew the impact of Ryan during his playing days at Servite. That work ethic, passion, and determination led Kalil to have a great career at the University of Southern California, where in 2004, USC went undefeated at 13-0 and winning the BCS National Championship (before being vacated). His play at USC and the NFL Combine got teams looking his way on draft night, ultimately getting picked 59th overall by the Carolina Panthers.
Kalil would go on to spend his entire 12-year career with the Panthers organization. During his tenure with the team, Kalil played in 148 games, being the starting center for 145 of those games. His performance, reliability, and leadership on the field transcending the culture of the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have a motto, "Keep Pounding", and Kalil was a perfect personification of that mentality.
Kalil's accolades speak for themselves. At USC, he was awarded the 2006 Morris Trophy for being the lineman of the year, voted by his own teammates and enjoyed being named a first- team All American that same year. At the NFL level, Kalil was on the All-Rookie Team in 2007, Second-team All-Pro in 2011, First-team All-Pro in 2013 and 2015, and finally a 5x Pro Bowler (2009-11, 2013, 2015).
He was on the 2015 Carolina Panthers team that ended the regular season at 15-1 and made an appearance in Super Bowl 50, where the Panthers would lose to the Broncos 24-10.
With his football career coming to an end, one thing is for sure, Ryan Kalil left everything out on the gridiron. Coaches, players, and fans raved about him in every aspect not only on the field, but off of it as well. The NFL will miss one of the most respected and impactful players to ever grace the league, but the amount of memories and great play Kalil brought will never be forgotten.
In Kalil's final career game, the Carolina Panthers defeated the New Orleans Saints 33-14.