One of the most important players on the Cincinnati Bengals offense was undrafted out of college and has touched the ball six times while playing less than 42 percent of the snaps in his two seasons with the team.
But everyone from coordinator Hue Jackson to quarterback Andy Dalton and running backs Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard point to h-back/fullback Ryan Hewitt as a key piece to a Bengals offense that climbed into the top 10 of the league.
Jackson insists Hewitt should be in the Pro Bowl for his physical, attacking style of blocking both at the end of the line as a tight end or h-back or smashing up the middle as a fullback.
Hewitt signed with the Bengals after going undrafted out of Stanford in 2014, and almost instantly climbed to the top of the depth chart, beating out former fourth-round pick Orson Charles.
He’s played in all 28 games with 21 starts, catching 16 passes for 167 yards with one carry for no yards.
Friday he added five questions to his stat line when he sat down to talk about his career, his flowing blond locks and his hometown of Denver for this week’s Bengals High 5:
Q: You’ve been a part of a lot wins and great moments at Stanford and with the Bengals, but what is your greatest sports memory as a fan?
A: It was really cool seeing the Broncos win back-to-back Super Bowls when I was growing up. I never went to any games, but we always watched them on TV. My parents were big fans, so I just became a fan, too.
Q: In pictures of you from high school and early in college feature you have really short hair, but now you have some of the longest on the team. When and why did you decide to grow it out?
A: There wasn’t really decision that went into it. I grew it out in college and liked the way it looked, so I kept it.
Q: What do you want to do long term with your degree from Stanford in Science, Technology and Society?
A: I have no idea. I liked what I had to focus on when I was in school and the classes that were associated with that major. I had a focus in sustainability. I like the idea of sustainability. So that’s kind of why I chose it. But again, what do I want to do when I’m done? I don’t know. That’s a long way away hopefully.
Q: Did you have other free-agent offers coming out of Stanford, and if so, why did you pick the Bengals?
A: Yeah, I did. Several teams. I picked the Bengals because they run an offense where I figured I could fit in pretty well. They run the West Coast style of offense, and I thought I could make a niche for myself.
Q: You got to play at the University of Colorado while at Stanford, but have you thought about how special it will be to go home to Denver and play an NFL game on Monday Night Football in a couple of weeks?
A: Yeah, I have. I’m very excited about that. It’s one of those games I’ve been thinking about for a long time, since the schedule came out (in April). But you just have to wait until you’re there. God willing, hopefully I’m able to stay healthy and play in that game. I’m really excited for that. I’ve gotten tons of ticket requests already. I’ve told everybody ‘no, I’m not going to be able to get you tickets.’ We don’t get tickets to away games, so they’re on their own.”