The University of Wisconsin-Platteville football team concluded its season with an 8-2 record; the best record under current head coach Mike Emendorfer.
Part of the Pioneers’ strength this year was senior safety Ryan McWethy. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound team captain has been scouted by close to 20 National Football League teams.
“He’s outstanding,” Emendorfer said. “He comes to practice with a smile on his face, leads by example and most importantly, he is humble.”
McWethy, a two-year starter from Oregon, Ill., plays defense and special teams. He chose UW-Platteville because he liked the coaches.
“If you trust them, they will work with you,” McWethy said. “The seniors this year believed in this program, and that’s why we’ve been successful.”
One of the most memorable games of his Pioneer career was against University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire last season when he had 18 tackles.
McWethy first learned NFL teams were eyeing him last season when scouts contacted the UW-Platteville coaching staff asking for film. Now, more than 10 teams, including the Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, and Minnesota Vikings, have come to watch McWethy play and meet him.
McWethy said in an interview with 91FM-WSUP radio that the questions NFL scouts have asked range from the field to his personal life.
“They ask things like ‘What are my strengths on and off the field?’ and ‘What can I bring to a team?’” McWethy said. “One asked about my girlfriend and what she’s majoring in, which was a little weird.”
When it comes down to which NFL team he would choose, McWethy said he is willing to go anywhere.
McWethy said he is grateful his achievements can complement the UW-Platteville football program. When it comes to his future plans, he is hoping to graduate with a degree in occupational safety management and a business minor before pursuing a potential professional football career.
“I’m nervous and excited, but right now I’m trying to stay focused on this season and graduating,” McWethy said. “There is pressure to perform every game because the game film is your resume.”
He acknowledged his biggest fans are his family; they come to every game and are excited for his future. His teammates also recognize McWethy’s impact on the team.
“Ryan is talented, hard-working and a positive leader,” said Bronzun Kyles, a junior defensive end for the Pioneers.
Due to the level of scouts looking at McWethy, he has a good chance of being invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in 2013 as the NFL teams request the invitees. McWethy signed with an agent during Thanksgiving break.