Two for the price of one

After finishing the football season, Ryan Lezon is ready to get back on the baseball diamond after four years. Photo by Grace Hensley


Seeing a two-sport athlete in high school or lower collegiate levels is common, and even encouraged in some cases. But to see someone play multiple Division I sports is an impressive and unique feat. 

Graduate student Ryan Lezon began his athletic career playing three sports — football, baseball and basketball. When he went to Ball State, however, he was only able to focus on football. 

“My football coaches shut it down because they were like, you need to focus on football,” Lezon said. “We’re giving you all this [scholarship] money. I want you to focus on that.” 

After Lezon finished his senior season with Ball State, he entered the transfer portal looking for a new home. He found his way to Butler, where he played the 2023 football season for the Bulldogs. Lezon appeared in nine games for the team, hauling in 18 receptions for 190 yards. He also caught four receiving touchdowns, which were the first and only of his collegiate career. 

He will also be a part of the baseball team for the 2024 campaign, reuniting with head coach Blake Beemer

“I graduated from Ball State this past year and was fortunate enough to come here and play football,” Lezon said. “And while I was in this process of figuring out things, I realized that coach Beemer was the [baseball] coach here and just shot him a call.” 

Beemer was an assistant coach at Ball State when Lezon was coming out of high school. He was in contact with Lezon about joining his baseball team at Ball State, so he was excited about the opportunity to reconnect with him at Butler. 

“It was neat,” Beemer said. “I still have video of him in high school from when we recruited him. When you get those, it’s pretty special, and I’m glad it’s worked out.” 

Despite his limited time around baseball over the last four years, Lezon has impressed Beemer with how he has handled the transition back into the sport. 

“That’s just how athletic and talented he was at baseball and still is,” Beemer said. “You can see he’s behind with certain things, but he is making up ground quickly.” 

When Lezon played for Southport High School, he was an effective player. He was a four-year starter for the Cardinals, where he hit above .400. By the end of his high school career, Lezon was an intriguing player that drew the interest of coaches around the country. 

“If you have a guy that’s that athletic being recruited to do multiple sports, you’re intrigued because it’s a real athlete that you don’t always come across,” Beemer said. “You always say, ‘Man, if we just got more time with him on the baseball field, maybe we can make some real strides.’” 

Despite only joining the team this season, Lezon has embraced his role as a leader. His first-year baseball teammate Adam Galdoni talked about how Lezon’s experience has influenced the underclassmen. 

“As a teammate, you can tell if somebody is down on their stuff; he understands how emotional sports can get,” Galdoni said. “He’s really good at just being a quiet supporter.” 

Lezon understands that he has not seen a pitch in almost four years, but he is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that his team is in the best position to win. 

“I’m a competitor,” Lezon said. “I’m also a good teammate, and I want to do what’s best for the team. At the end of the day, we all want to win a championship and anything I can do personally, as a teammate, I want to get to that goal as well.” 


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