The Cedar Rapids River Kings have signed collegiate All-American Ryan Aelker to its 2019 roster.
Aelker (6'4", Bluffton University) was a two-time D3football.com All-North Region honoree and was named Honorable Mention All-American as a senior in 2015, playing linebacker for the Beavers. He has held Bluffton's school record for sacks in a single season twice, with 13 as a junior and then besting that his senior season with 15.5. He broke the record for most tackles for loss his junior season as well (22) and then surpassed that the following year (24). He also led the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference in forced fumbles (3) in addition to sacks and TFL's.
He had 60 total tackles his senior year, an interception, four pass breakups, two quarterback hurries and a blocked kick. He also recorded two pass receptions for touchdowns on offense.
Aelker leads Bluffton's career lists with 35 sacks, 60 TFL's for 286 yards, eight forced fumbles and 11 QB hurries. He finished his career with the Beavers with 165 total tackles (110 solo), two interceptions, 11 breakups, two fumble recoveries, and a blocked kick.
He was named HCAC Defensive player of the week three times in his career, and was only the second player in conference history to win the award consecutively.
Aelker is from New Bavaria, Ohio, and attended Holgate High School.