Boise State Football

One of Boise State’s all-time great football players retires from NFL

Boise State coach Bryan Harsin after first day of practice

Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin discusses the first day of fall camp and Ryan Clady's retirement.
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Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin discusses the first day of fall camp and Ryan Clady's retirement.

Ryan Clady, one of the best players ever to suit up for the Boise State football team, announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday.

Clady, who redshirted in 2004 and was a starting offensive tackle from 2005 to 2007 at Boise State, spent nine years in the NFL. He was a first-team All-Pro selection twice and a Pro Bowler four times. He played for the Denver Broncos and New York Jets.

Clady was an All-American left tackle at Boise State and he provided one of the key blocks on the Broncos’ famous Statue of Liberty play that won the 2007 Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma. He was selected in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft (12th overall), becoming the first BSU player in history with that distinction.

“Despite having several teams who are currently interested in signing me, I have made a very difficult decision to retire from my NFL playing career,” Clady posted on Twitter. “... I wanted to see if the beginning of NFL training camps would inspire the passion that I need to perform at the standards that I established for myself during my nine-year NFL career.”

Clady started 106 of his 107 NFL games. He started every game for the first five years of his career before injuries limited him to two games in 2013 and kept him out for the 2015 season, when Denver won the Super Bowl. He played nine games last year for the Jets, his only season with that team, but New York declined to pick up his contract option for another season. He missed 37 of his teams’ last 64 games because of injuries.

In 2008, Clady allowed just half a sack and finished third in voting for the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year award. The following season he was named the top tackle in the NFL, and he surrendered just that half-sack through his first 20 games, a league record.

Clady made the Pro Bowl in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014. He earned All-Pro honors in 2009 and 2012.

Denver General Manager John Elway called Clady a “great player for the Broncos for many years,” tweeting that he was “as dominant as there was as an LT in pass pro. Congrats on an outstanding career, Ryan !!!”

At Boise State, Clady was a first-team American Football Coaches Association, Sporting News, and Playboy All-American in 2007. He was named to the second team on The Associated Press, Phil Steele, and Walter Camp lists.

With Clady’s retirement, that leaves 38 players with Idaho ties currently on NFL rosters, plus three free agents.