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Ryans visits local school


DeMeco Ryans walked through the doors at Walt Disney Elementary on Tuesday and was struck by the school's Texans spirit.

Red, white and blue streamers hung from the ceiling. Hand-painted posters welcoming Ryans were taped to the wall. And a class of ecstatic fifth graders greeted him with a cheers and applause.

Who could blame them? It's not every day that they an NFL player teaches their class. But that's exactly what the Pro Bowler did as part of the "Take a Texans to School Day."

Ryans, a two-time Academic All-American at the University of Alabama, and nine other Texans visited schools around the Houston area to educate children on the importance of excelling in the classroom and on the field. They also managed to have a little fun.

"It was my first time getting out to a school this year and it was awesome," Ryans said. "This is a great school. The kids are great. They asked great questions. It was very fun."

The linebacker talked to the students about why he started playing football and how the sport allowed him to earn a college scholarship. He then asked the class Texans' trivia questions and handed out prizes.

"They were on top of their stuff," Ryans said. "They knew a lot about the Texans - all the players' names, the coaches."

{QUOTE}Ryans' biggest fan was Nick Hernandez, who plays linebacker for his youth football team. Hernandez and his mother applied for his class to win a visit from a Texan but had no idea that Ryans would be the player selected.

"When I found out it was him, I was shocked," Hernandez said. "I was jumping up and down."

When the class period ended, Hernandez took pictures with Ryans and said that meeting the Texans was one of the most exciting days of his life.

"It is very special for him to say something like that," Ryans said. "It's very special for me to have that kind of impact. I feel awesome just for him saying that. I wish all of them the best. I wish them continued success in school."

The children didn't let Ryans leave empty handed. Several students drew pictures and wrote cards for him, which he plans to keep as a reminder of his day at the Alvin elementary school.

"They kids were awesome they sent me away with some autographs," Ryans said. "You usually don't get that, so it was awesome."

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