Callahan comes up big

Old Mill senior goes from 118-pound tight end as freshman to 150-pound, record-setting running back



The first time Old Mill football coach Mike Marcus saw Ryan Callahan play was as a freshman in a junior varsity game in 2002.

Callahan, who just finished the most prolific career by a running back in Anne Arundel County history, was then a 5-foot-6, 118-pound tight end.

"I had heard from our JV coaches how special this kid was, and back then the JVs played opposite sites and I didn't get to see him play in the first two games," said Marcus, who is in his eighth year as head coach.

"I asked why he was playing tight end and they said, `Because our tight end can't block their defensive end. We can get outside with Ryan blocking their D-end.' And I saw this 118-pound kid nail the defensive end."

Callahan, now 5-7, worked hard in the weight room to get to 150 pounds. He bench-presses 270 pounds, squats 385-390 and covers 40 yards in under 4.5 seconds.

His 35-game career - he missed one game in 2004 - came to an end Friday on a cold night at Damascus.

Running for 140 yards and two touchdowns in a 48-13 Class 4A state semifinal loss to the five-time state champion Hornets, Callahan finished with a state record for touchdowns (87) and total points scored (530). His 5,253 career rushing yards rank fourth among the seven backs to reach the 5,000-yard plateau.

"What people don't realize is how many yards he has gotten between the tackles," said Marcus of Callahan, who has the uncanny ability to make cuts in the middle of a crowd without losing speed.

Callahan, who has a 2.61 grade point average in core subjects, has scholarship offers from Akron, Florida A&M, Kent State, James Madison, Northeastern and Towson.

TD Club awards

On Sunday, county coaches voted Callahan the recipient of the Rhodes Trophy, given annually by the Touchdown Club of Annapolis to the best player. Callahan is only the fourth player in 47 years to win the award twice.

In addition, North County's Zack Farrington was named the 17th winner of the Al Laramore Award.

Callahan joins Rayvon Johnson (1997-98), Bill Glotzbach (1959-60) and Arundel's Louis Carter (1969-70) as the two-time winners.

Callahan is only the second Old Mill player chosen. Running back William Beverly, who led the Patriots to their first playoff berth in 1990, is the other.

Farrington, a standout two-way lineman and All-County offensive guard, is the first Knight chosen for the Laramore Award, which goes to the county's best lineman.

Farrington, a 6-foot, 300-pound senior, played a major role in the Knights (6-5) winning five of their last six regular-season games to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in 10 years.

Both awards will be presented at a banquet in February.

Leaving a mark

Records set by Old Mill running back Ryan Callahan, who played 35 games in his three-year career (2003-2005):

State records

Total touchdowns --87 Total points -- 530

County Records

Total touchdowns -- Career (87), season 36 (2004) Total points -- Career (530), season 218 (2004) Rushing touchdowns -- Career (83), season 35 (2004) Rushing yards -- Career (5,253), season 2,396 (2004) 100-yard games -- Career (27), season 13 (2005) 100-yard games in succession -- 24 (2004-05) Games with at least one touchdown -- Career (32), season 13 (2005) Successive games with at least one touchdown -- 24 (2004-05) 200-yard games -- Career (11), season 6 (2004-x) 300-yard games -- Career (2), season (2) in 2004, 341 yards each -1 yard short of county record. x-tied with Meade's Tanardo Sharps, who had a county-record six in succession in 1997. Note -- Callahan's 5,253 career yards rushing ranks fifth on the all-time state list of seven players who reached the 5,000-yard milestone.

-compiled by Pat O'Malley

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