Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Rickerson Has Bright Future

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Rickerson Has Bright Future

Article excerpt

Byline: Chase Goodbread

Predicting success in college for a prep football player is dangerous business, given the lengthy list of high school hotshots that end up playing little more than special teams on Saturdays.

Predicting failure is no easier, as every major program in the country has starters who have buried more heavily recruited teammates on the depth chart.

So with those qualifiers out of the way, I'm sticking my prediction neck on the block in print: Jacques Rickerson is going to be a good one. The St. Augustine cornerback committed to Florida last weekend, and after two years of watching him perform in some of the Yellow Jackets' biggest games, I'm convinced this guy will have a big career at the next level.

Over the last 12 years, I've seen the very best corners the area has produced: Former Raines star Lito Sheppard, who has an NFL All-Pro season on his resume; former Super 24 Player of the Year Dee Webb of White, who will team with Rickerson at UF; and former Bolles standout Antonio Roundtree, who was an All-Conference USA corner at Louisville.

All excellent high school players, but not one of them could break on a ball in the air as well as Rickerson. Not Georgia's Bryan Evans, who starred at White; not FSU's Tony Carter, who starred at Mandarin; not ex-Gator Bennie Alexander of Union County.

None of them were as instinctive as Rickerson.

How the Yellow Jackets senior will handle run support at the college level is another matter. He'll have to put some weight on to take on the 225-pound tailbacks of the Southeastern Conference, and like any 5-foot-11 cornerback, he'll have his hands full with college receivers that are commonly 6-4 or taller. But from strictly a man-to-man coverage perspective, this guy reads quarterbacks' eyes like no corner I've ever seen at the prep level.

And unlike some defensive backs, he can catch anything he can get a hand on.

The Gators got a good one. And if I'm wrong, I'm sure I'll be reminded.

ETC.

Stanton Prep rowers Jordan Peek and Lyn Sanwald have signed with Michigan and Miami, respectively.

ALUMNI CORNER

Florida DL Marcus Thomas (Mandarin) blocked a field goal that was returned by Reggie Lewis (First Coast) for a touchdown to help spark a rout against FSU. …

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