Cameron Ryan has built up a large memory pool of his time spent playing linebacker at St. Joseph High in Trumbull.

Team-wise there is the two state championship won. On an individual note, there is the reward to being named All-FCIAC and All-State.

Perhaps the most cherished moments came before the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Ryan and tough-minded defense became synonymous.

“I got to play as a sophomore at linebacker with my brother Dylan when he was a senior,” said Ryan, who announced his decision to play football for head coach David Archer at Cornell University. “We’d joke around, counting how many tackles we each had made. It motivated me to get better.”

It was easier this past season to count Ryan’s tackles than the times he was blocked. He made 103 stops, 51 solo tackles with 12 coming for losses. Ryan sacked the quarterback 2.5 times and averaged 10.2 tackles per game. He forced three fumbles, recovered one. Ryan also punted the ball well to flip the field and played on all the special teams.

“There is nothing better than running down the field after kicking the ball off,” he said, and agreed that with St. Joseph’s prolific offense he had plenty of opportunities. “I loved the fact that we scored so quickly. It meant that we were winning. The quicker they score the quicker we (the defense) can get back out there.”

Ryan made his third visit to Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y. this past weekend.

“It was where I was thinking about for a long time, but I finally committed,” he said. “Everything I had worked hard for had come to fruition.” Ryan will study biology pre-medical with an eye toward becoming a doctor or physician’s assistant.

He pointed to his parents for making it possible.

“They have always been there for me,” he said. “My dad went to Notre Dame of West Haven. He jokes that he didn’t play football because he wouldn’t have a ride home. The truth is he began working when he was fourteen. I’m most proud of their work ethic.

“My coaches at St. Joseph, Coach Dell (Joe Della Vecchia) and everyone on staff helped me tremendously. They saw something when I was a freshman and helped me get better every season.

“Playing defense is all about reading and reacting. We did a lot of film work and then the coaches would take us out to the practice field and we’d have a walk through. When you get a three-and-out (not allowing a first down) it’s an awesome feeling.”

The fact he will be attending an Ivy League school isn’t lost on Ryan.

“It’s humbling,” he said. “I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given.”