Syracuse University Magazine

Record Gains


Ryan Nassib

For Ryan Nassib ’12, the numbers keep adding up to forward progress. And whether he’s on the football field or in the classroom, the numbers reveal the rewards of hard work, determination, and a fierce competitiveness that drove him to the top of the charts, athletically and academically, during his five years at SU. Now poised to embark on an NFL career, the Orange quarterback leaves the Hill with bachelor’s degrees in accounting and finance (cum laude), a master’s degree in accounting under way, national accolades as a scholar-athlete, and a handful of SU football records. “Ever since I was a kid, my parents instilled in me that if you’re going to do something, you should do it to the best of your ability,” Nassib says. “I wasn’t the most gifted kid, but I put in the work to get to where I wanted to be. That wasn’t new to me coming to college—I’ve been doing that my whole life.”

The West Chester, Pennsylvania, native is one of five children in an athletic family. A Philadelphia Eagles fan since childhood, he loved watching Orange great Donovan McNabb ’98 during his time there. “I didn’t even know he went to Syracuse until I looked into coming here,” Nassib says. “I thought that was a great sign.” 

It was. In 2010, as a redshirt sophomore, Nassib moved into the starting signal-caller role in former head coach Doug Marrone’s pro-style offense. He endured his share of ups and downs, but persevered and kept building on his game. In 2012, his final season, Nassib guided the Orange to an 8-5 record, which included a share of the Big East title and a New Era Pinstripe Bowl victory (Nassib’s second). The co-captain threw for SU single-season records for passing yards (3,749), completions (294), touchdowns passes (26), and total offense (3,891 yards), led the Big East in passing yards per game and total offense, and ranked 12th in the nation in passing yards. And if that wasn’t enough, the tough-minded, hard-throwing quarterback became Syracuse’s all-time leading passer, connecting for 9,190 yards on 791 completions (also a record). He was named a 2012 Pro Football Weekly All-American and earned a trip to the Senior Bowl. Did he envision a record-setting career at SU? “Never in my life,” he says. “I had some great coaching, a little luck, and some great players around me, so I was able to leave my name in the record books, which is nice on a personal level.”

As Nassib advanced his play on the gridiron, he tackled such topics as cost analysis, auditing, and investments at the Whitman School of Management, and interned for three summers at Leigh Baldwin & Co., an investment brokerage firm in nearby Cazenovia. Hitting the books hard also brought him honors as the Big East Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year and as a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete. “It was extremely difficult to succeed in the classroom as well as perform at a very high level against top competition,” he says, “so being acknowledged for that was great.”

When Nassib reflects on his time at Syracuse, he’s deeply appreciative of the guidance and support he received from his coaches and Whitman School professors and staff. Most of all, he says, he’ll remember his teammates and all the experiences they shared together. Since season’s end, he devoted himself to training and preparing for the 2013 NFL Draft, in which he was a fourth-round selection (110th overall) of the New York Giants. “Ever since I came to college, one of my goals was to put myself in the best position I can to play at the next level,” he says. “Anytime you strap on a helmet, it’s enjoyable work.”  —Jay Cox

Photo courtesy of SU Athletics