In-State Offensive Line Prospect Talks Recruiting

A high school junior football prospect who is familiar with Auburn talks about recruiting and his early list of favorites.

Leighton, Ala.-–One of the top offensive line prospects in Alabama for the Class of 2006 says that he has several favorites heading into the summer before his senior season. Big Jermarcus Ricks from Colbert County High has offers from several top schools around the country, but says that three schools are at the top of his list at the moment.

"I have offers from Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss, LSU, Louisville and Oklahoma," Ricks tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I like Oklahoma, LSU and Auburn right now. Oklahoma is real good and they have athletes all over the field. LSU is about the same too."

The odds-on favorite for Ricks at the moment would have to be Auburn though. In addition to it being an in-state school, Auburn is also the current home to his older brother Courtney Harden, who is a redshirt freshman linebacker for the Tigers. Despite having family in Auburn, Ricks says that it doesn't make it a slam dunk that he'll be a Tiger as well.

"Auburn is pretty good and I like their coaching staff," Ricks says. "Having my brother down there factors in a little bit, but not that much."

Ricks was very impressing in the junior game that followed last season's play.

A 6-4, 285 offensive lineman who could play either tackle or guard on the next level, Ricks is a very athletic lineman capable of pulling on running plays and also protecting the quarterback in the passing game. Claiming a personal-best 40-yard dash time of 5.1 seconds, there is little doubt that Ricks is going to be a high priority for many schools when next February's signing day rolls around.

Soon to be a four-year starter for the Indians, Ricks also plays basketball in high school and started as a junior. He averaged 10 points and 10 rebounds a game as a power forward, but his future is on the gridiron. He says he plans to attend several camps over the summer, including at both Auburn and Alabama, and hopes to improve several areas of his game before his senior season.

"I'm working on my quickness and my legs mostly," Ricks says. "My legs aren't as strong as they should be. That's what I want to get better. I also want to get stronger in my upper body. I benched 305 last year, but I want to improve that."

As a junior Ricks was named All-State in Class 3A and earned the distinction of playing in the first junior All-Star game in Troy last year. He says the experience of playing against the state's best players was fun and helped his game.

"I guess my junior year went okay," Ricks says. "It was my third season as a starter and I played fine. I played in the All-Star game after the year and it went pretty good."

Ricks is part of a strong offensive line group in Alabama for next season. That group includes top prospect Andre Smith as well as David Ross from Homewood, both of whom have been offered by Auburn early in the recruiting process.

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