What a long way he has come.

After a breakout season which propelled the Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl LI (51), quarterback Matt Ryan won the NFL’s top individual award after being named the league’s Most Valuable Player.

The former Boston College quarterback earned 25 of the 50 votes, while New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady finished second with 10. It wasn’t a bad finish at all for Brady considering he missed the first four games of the season due to his alleged involvement in “Deflategate.”

Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott and Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr each earned six votes, while Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers earned two and Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott received one.

Ryan notched career-highs in completion percentage (69.9), yards (4,944), touchdowns (38), and QB rating (117.1). He also threw a career-low seven interceptions this season. The 9-year veteran helped lead the Falcons to become the NFL’s top scoring team at 33.8 points per game. And with those numbers, it wasn’t a surprise that he was also named the Offensive Player of the Year.

Back in 2003, Ryan, a three-star recruit, ended up signing with Boston College. Yet, in the Eagles’ press release, Ryan was even mentioned which touted the 23-member football recruiting class.

And now come Sunday, he’ll be starting under center as he goes up against Tom Brady.

The overlooked quarterback certainly made his presence known as he turned Boston College into one of the top teams during his time there.

After leading the Eagles to a number of last-second victories, the former ACC Player of the Year earned the nickname “Matty Ice” during his time at Boston College.

A nickname like that will likely be needed against a Patriots team that has lost just two games all season. He’ll also be counted on to break the curse which has plagued seven NFL MVP players since 2000. A victory Sunday would also make Ryan just the seventh player in NFL history to earn MVP honors and win the Super Bowl in the same season.

Follow Fan Insider on Facebook and on Twitter.