It's been a long road to the Super Bowl for Matt Ryan. The Atlanta Falcons quarterback had an MVP-caliber season but his nine-year career has been marked by stretches of underachievement with just one playoff victory entering the 2016 season.

Ryan, 31, grew up in the New Jersey shore town of North Wildwood and went on to play quarterback for Boston College, the same school his uncle John Loughery played from 1979-82. Ryan played four seasons with the Eagles and was consistently among the best passers in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Ryan would later be drafted No. 3 overall in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Falcons. He started every game in his first season and was named the Offensive Rookie of the Year. 

In his career, Ryan has only missed two games. He is clearly having his best season from a statistical perspective with career highs in multiple categories. Ryan is also considered the frontrunner to win MVP in a hotly contested year.

In 2016, the four-time Pro Bowler threw for 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions, while completing 69.9 percent of his passes. He had a 117.1 quarterback passer rating this season in a career in which he never reached 100.

Most football fans know Ryan for his mild-mannered and professional demeanor. In an interview with the New York Times, Brian McCloskey, Ryan's high school coach at William Penn Charter School, a small Quaker school founded in 1689, confirmed that Ryan has been soft-spoken about himself for years.

“Matt has always flown under the radar,” said McCloskey.

“He’d rather it be that way. If you want to talk just about him, it’s going to be a short conversation.”

Ryan married his wife, Sarah Marshall, in 2011. They met at Boston College when Marshall played starting point guard for the women's team. A native of Portland, Maine, Marshall was a communications major. Ryan and Marshall reportedly watched the 2008 romantic comedy film "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" together.

Ryan comes from an Irish Catholic family and has three siblings. His two brothers, Michael and John, played quarterback in college.

Most professional athletes don't offer their opinions on politics, but Ryan reportedly supported former President Barack Obama's candidacy in 2008.

A lot can be learned about players and their tastes at Super Bowl's Media Day. When asked about music and what his go-to karaoke song is, Ryan went with the 80s, by throwing out "Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield. Ryan also said that he and his wife have been watching the show "Shameless."

As a player, Ryan has maintained his humility when so much focus in recent years has been on more high-profile quarterbacks like Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and his opponent on this weekend Tom Brady. In an interview before the NFC Championship, Ryan said he tries not to get ahead of himself.

"One thing I've really tried to do all season is stay in the present moment and stay focused on where your feet are," Ryan said. "When I'm worrying about what other people perceive of me or those kind of things, you're not worrying about what's going to help us on third down and six this week. Ultimately, if we're good in that situation, the other things fall into place. "