ATLANTA - Matt Ryan remembers that teammates started calling him "Matty Ice" when he was a 14-year-old playing JV football, but he doesn't seem to remember exactly why.
"It was my freshman year," said Ryan. "There wasn't anything in particular."
Now 28-years-old, Ryan's cool demeanor is a big reason why the Atlanta Falcons have soared to within one game of the Super Bowl.
Last Sunday, he led the Falcons on a last second drive that resulted in a game winning field goal over the Seattle Seahawks. It was the seventh come-from-behind game winning drive for Ryan this season.
Off the field, former teammate and friend Brian Finneran jokes that despite all of his success, Ryan does occasionally hit a sour note.
"Matt is actually a very good musician," said Finneran. "He plays guitar and thinks he can sing. He really can't, but a really good musician."
Matt Ryan was born and raised in Exton, Pennsylvania, the third of four children. His parents encouraged him to play football because they saw it as the ultimate team sport. Ryan didn't find a home at quarterback until his freshman year in high school.
Right after his rookie season with the Falcons, Ryan told 11Alive's Randy Waters that his family molded him into the quarterback and person he is today.
"They always kind of preached to us no matter how good you were at whatever you did, other people have helped you get to that point," said Ryan. "There are other people helping you continue to grow."
His Falcons teammates say he arrived in Atlanta with a maturity beyond his years. They credit Ryan's family.
"If you meet his mom and dad, you understand where he got it," said Finneran. "Hard working middle class family, hard-nosed people, the kind of people you want on your side."
Finneran says his buddy's maturity took a giant leap when Ryan recently walked down the aisle, marrying his college sweetheart.
"Matt's one of those guys who loves to keep it together," said Finneran.
Fancons fans are loving it.