Talented Football Prospect Looking For A Home

This defensive prospect says that he's taking a look at Auburn, as well as two other colleges, as signing day nears.

Miami, Fla.--It seems unusual for one of the nation's top defensive ends to be searching for a school this late in the recruiting process, but that's the case with dominating Ricky Jean-Francois from Carol City High.

The 6-3, 246-pounder with a best time of 4.65 in the 40-yard dash says that he's gone through school after school, but has narrowed his list to just three colleges heading into the heat of the recruiting season in January.

"It has been crazy," Jean-Francois tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "From the get-go I had everything set. I already knew what colleges I might be going to, but once the recruiting process was going on coaches from everywhere didn't stay in one spot. Everybody was switching up going everywhere and when that happened it was hard for me to decide what college I wanted to go to.

"There was a point that I said, ‘If I can't go to that college then I want to check out the next school.' My next option was Auburn and I checked them out. They had one of the best defenses I saw this year. I also wanted to check out Tennessee because UM (Miami, Fla.) isn't giving me any talk. That's supposed to be my home school. They're not giving me any talk so I started leaning towards Auburn, Tennessee and South Florida."

Ricky Jean-Francois

Rated as the number three defensive end in the country by Scout.com, Jean-Francois has looked at colleges from coast to coast, but coaching changes have brought him back to Auburn and the Vols with South Florida still in the mix. Defections such as Ed Orgeron from USC to Ole Miss, Nick Saban from LSU to the Miami Dolphins and the firing of Ron Zook at Florida have made him take a long look at the Tigers and he says he likes what he sees.

"I have talked to them for a little bit from time to time," Jean-Francois says of Auburn. "I like their style of defense. In their style they just go at it. They don't slow down, they just go back at it. If the offense messes up they are going to come right back out and start over again. It comes to a point when somebody else's offense doesn't want them to come back out there and play. The coaches are also stable there as well."

Although he hasn't set up official visits to Auburn or South Florida to this point and is tentatively scheduled to visit the Vols on Jan. 14, Jean-Francois says that he plans to take a closer look at each before making his final decision. Coming off a season that was a disappointment by Carol City's high standards, he says that he feels like he played well individually to help his team make it as far as possible.

"My season went okay," Jean-Francois says. "It was a good season. We didn't make it to the state championship, but it was a fun ride while it lasted. I had a good year. I finished with 93 tackles, 16 sacks, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and three interceptions. We had a good season. We lost in the semi-finals to Killian."

As a junior he totaled 80 tackles and 10 sacks as Carol City won the state championship. He also brought home state titles in track and field as he boasted best throws of 65 feet, 7 inches in the shot put and 169 feet, 6 inches in the discus. Both are tremendous numbers for a high school junior.

A three-year starter for Carol City, Jean-Francois earned All-Dade honors as both a junior and senior and is one of the top players in Florida this year. He says that his quickness off the ball and his attitude are his best assets as a football player.

"My strength is pass rushing," Jean-Francois says. "Really, I just like going head to head. I like dogging a lineman to see what he's capable of doing under pressure. My strong point is pass rushing though."

Jean-Francois is one of the top all-around athletes in Florida this year and should have no problems finding a school before signing day. He says he has another test date in February and is hoping to improve his score enough to be a qualifier. He says that he is just short at the moment.

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