It's a pretty good thing to be St. Louis prep football star Ronnie Wingo right now.
You're one of the nation's top tailbacks, you've got traditional college football powers like the University of Arkansas showing you the love and you recently got named to the U.S. Army All-American game Jan. 3 in San Antonio.
You just got done filming a TV spot with Richardson on the Fab Five players in Missouri.
Oh, and there was also that recent picture-taking session with your buddy and fellow Razorback recruit Sheldon Richardson and the St. Louis Rams cheerleaders.
"Yeah, that wasn't bad at all," Wingo said while laughing. "That was the same week that Sheldon and I got our All-American game jerseys and they had a little recognition thing for us at the Rams game where they put us up on the jumbotron and stuff. It was pretty cool being down there on the field and all that."
About the only downer right now for Wingo (6-3, 212) is that his senior season with St. Louis University High is over due to a 36-35 loss to Fox in the state playoffs back on Nov. 7.
"We had just gone down and kicked a field goal and then they came back and scored," Wingo said. "Then for the third time this season, the other team went for two at the end of the game. This was the first time one of them made it."
That means Wingo's 2008 campaign ended with him rushing for 1,482 yards and 14 touchdowns and catching 20 passes for 379 yards and another 5 scores.
Not to mention the fact that Wingo – who had 4,499 yards rushing and 48 touchdowns in 33 high school games - broke 12 single-season and career school records and tied 3 more.
"I guess I had an okay year," Wingo said modestly. "But I have not ever really been concerned about my individual stats. Winning is the most important thing to me and I would give back some of the yards if we could still be playing."
Instead he will soon dive head long into the recruiting process with visits scheduled to Illinois Dec. 5-7, Missouri Dec. 12-14 and then Jan. 9-11 to Arkansas with Richardson also in tow for the trip to Fayetteville.
"I will also take visits to Alabama and Kansas at some point in January after the (All-American) game," Wingo said. "I won't make any decision or announcement until after that."
There have been a couple of reports speculating that Wingo was leaning toward Missouri and that he might make a decision after his first two visits.
"I think that came from a little chat that I had with my coach, but he misunderstood what I was trying to say," Wingo said. "I like those two schools (Missouri and Illinois), but I like all of the five schools that I just mentioned and don't have one up over any other."
Arkansas – where Wingo visited unofficially this summer - has certainly tried to put its best foot forward with Razorback assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Tim Horton leading the way.
"Arkansas is the first team that I talk to each week," Wingo said. "Coach Horton is always the first guy to call. I also have talked to Coach (Garrick) McGee and some of the others and I really like their coaching staff. They have really made me feel wanted. They tell me I am the big back they want."
He is not really worried who else is at the five schools he is going to visit.
"I have a lot confidence in myself and I am not afraid of competition," Wingo said. "I don't want them to sign like five tailbacks, but all of the schools that are recruiting me are going to have great players either already there or coming."
Richardson, a soft commit to Missouri who is regarded as one of the nation's top defensive tackles, continues to have Arkansas in his recruiting mix as well.
He has visited Minnesota and will visit Missouri and Miami before taking his final visit to Arkansas.
"That's still our plan and we're both excited to get down there," Wingo said. "I've been telling him what a great place it is, how cool the coaches are and that kind of stuff."
Wingo will be joined by Richardson and Arkansas cornerback commit Darius Winston at the U.S. Army All American Game.
"I'm really honored and I am looking forward to playing," Wingo said. "It gives you a chance to match up your skills against the best players in the country."
Ronnie Wingo and Sheldon Richardon get their pictures taken with some St. Louis Rams cheerleaders before a recent home game.
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