44 DAYS TO KICKOFF: Ryan Mueller

Ryan Mueller: The most experienced returning defensive lineman on K-State's 2013 roster. - USA TODAY Sports

In which BracketCat counts down the 44th day until kickoff with a profile of defensive end Ryan Mueller.

RyanMueller

#44 Ryan Mueller
Redshirt Junior
6-2 | 245
Leawood, Kan.

Bio

Position: Defensive End

Previous College: None

Projection: Starter

Status: On Scholarship

Ryan K. Mueller (b. April 30, 1991) didn't even have a photo on his official kstatesports.com bio at this time two years ago, so one hardly can blame me for completely underestimating him in that summer's countdown writeup.

I predicted then that his being undersized and our defensive end depth would conspire to keep him off the field. I even went so far as to suggest he should switch to linebacker or fullback. I was horrendously wrong.

All Mueller did in 2011 was line up repeatedly at defensive tackle and rush the passer from the interior in obvious passing situations, relying on his speed to beat opposing offensive guards and centers.

Although he only collected three total tackles (two solo, one assisted), half a tackle for loss, half a sack, one pass breakup and one QB hit, he made an impact beyond his statistics with the pressure he applied to passers.

Mueller increased his production in 2012 while continuing in his role as a situational pass rusher, amassing 14 tackles (12 solo, two assisted), two sacks, three tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and six passes defended.

Expect that to continue this season now that he basically is our most experienced returning defensive lineman.

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