JONESBORO, Ark. (5/10/14) - After helping lead the Arkansas State football team to three consecutive Sun Belt Conference championships from 2011-13, defensive lineman Ryan Carrethers (Nashville, Tenn.) was selected by the San Diego Chargers in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
The Chargers spent their fourth pick of the draft on Carrethers, who was the 25th player taken in the fifth round and the 165th player chosen overall. While the Red Wolves have seen former players sign a free agent contract with the Chargers, Carrethers becomes the first to ever be drafted by the franchise. Carrethers will join former Arkansas State tight end David Johnson at San Diego, which signed Johnson to a two-year contract on March 12, 2014.
The Red Wolves have now had a player chosen in a school-record eight consecutive NFL Drafts, including Oren O’Neal in 2007, Tyrell Johnson in 2008, David Johnson in 2009, defensive end Alex Carrington in 2010, offensive lineman Derek Newton in 2011, linebacker Demario Davis in 2012 and defensive back Don Jones in 2013. Not only are the eight consecutive years with a draft selection a school record, it is tied for the third longest streak among the “Group of Five” conferences.
Carrethers became the 47th A-State player to ever be selected in the NFL Draft. Over 125 all-time Arkansas State players have signed pro contracts with an NFL franchise.
A two-time First Team All-Sun Belt Conference defensive tackle, Carrethers completed his A-State career with 172 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. He put together one of the strongest seasons ever by a defensive player in Arkansas State history last year. He ranked third in the nation in tackles among defensive linemen with 93 to his credit, living up to his preseason hype that placed him on the Bednarik Award and Outland Trophy watch lists and CBSSports.com’s Freak’s List compiled by Dennis Dodd.
His 93 total tackles last year were the second most on the team and ranked eighth in the Sun Belt Conference. He posted double-figure stops in two games, including a career-high 16 against Louisiana-Lafayette that were the most in the nation among defensive linemen for a single game.
His performance against the Ragin’ Cajuns earned him Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors. Carrethers tallied at least seven tackles in eight outings, while also finishing the year with eight tackles for loss and four sacks, which were both career highs.
He posted at least one tackle for loss in five games, including a career-high two twice. Additionally, he recorded his first career field goal block against ULM and, in a twist, lined up at fullback against Western Kentucky to record a touchdown on his only career rushing attempt.
Carrethers completed his career in dramatic fashion in the GoDaddy Bowl, blocking a 38-yard field goal attempt by Ball State’s Scott Secor as time expired to secure a 23-20 win for the Red Wolves. The Nashville, Tenn., native earned his bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Arkansas State University in August of 2013.