Omaha, NE --
Last night was a big night for the Omaha Blackhawks franchise as for the first time since Owner & General Manager Matt Patten returned to the league his team had a First Round draft pick and more importantly a top ten pick. With the recent changes on the Blackhawks roster, which saw Omaha trade Veteran WRDB Herb Hoffman and OLDL Greg Langley to the Sacramento Rampage in two separate trades which helped the Blackhawks lower their overall salary. The Hoffman Trade in particular garnered the Blackhawks the #10 pick in the first round of the 2018 OIFL Entry Draft.
As the first round of the draft progressed arguably the top two players in the draft came off the board early, but one player; WRLB Wally Ryan, just kept getting passed over pick after pick until the Blackhawks were on the clock at #10. With the recent trade of RBLB Teddy Rush to San Antonio and a lack of depth at the Wide Receive, Running Back and Linebacker positions, Omaha was looking for a player that could fill all of those gaps, and they did just that with Wally Ryan!
"We kept a close eye on the draft as the picks kept coming in and we couldn't believe that Wally kept getting passed over," said Patten. "I was sitting in the war room with our coaching staff and I remember looking over at Max at one point and saying 'There's no way San Francisco passes on Ryan here at nine' and sure enough, they did and we all kinda looked at each other in awe. We discussed a couple of other players that we saw, but it was clear to us that Ryan was the guy, not to mention top on our draft board, so we pulled the trigger," Patten finished.
Wally Ryan joins an Omaha Franchise that finished the 2017 Season 12 - 4, Second place in the Great Lakes Division. The Blackhawks' 12 wins earned them the 6 seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, however they were bounced 34 - 27 in the first round by the Evansville Fighting Squirrels. Depending on how training camp goes, Ryan could factor heavily into the Omaha Equation this season. Of course Injuries could play a factor in that as well.
Wally Ryan released the following statement through his agent; "I am very excited to have the opportunity to join the Omaha Blackhawks. Coach Shockey and the rest of his staff have a great track record of success in the OIFL and I know that they will help me reach my full potential. I can't wait to put on the Black & Gold!" Ryan signed a three year $395,000 fully guaranteed contract with the Blackhawks and will report to the Omaha facilities for voluntary work outs this weekend and then training camp when it opens. Dates for training camp have not been released as of this publication.
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Omaha Blackhawks Elated with 2018 First Round Draft Pick
Omaha Blackhawks OwnerOIFL All Star
- Joined: June 9th, 2008, 11:38 pm
2009 OIT Champions (Cedar Falls Phantoms)
2011 & 2012 NFC Central Division Champions (Cedar Valley Phantoms)
2014 Northwest Division Champions (Iowa Redemption)
2014 Western Conference Champions (Iowa Redemption)
Roland Young -- 2011 Offensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player
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