Rickerson Learned He Was MVP On The Net

Jacques Rickerson learned he had been selected MVP of last weekend's Auburn camp the same way most everyone else did: The next day, on the Internet. "I heard some of them talking about that I was a good cornerback, but I didn't know I was going to be defensive MVP," says the 17-year-old cornerback from St. Augustine. "That was kind of a surprise."

(Jacques Rickerson profile)

He came away from his weekend in Tiger country with a favorable opinion of the school and an official visit scheduled for the weekend of Nov. 19.

"Before the camp, I was already high on Auburn, but with me attending the camp and seeing some the facilities, they have a greater chance of me coming there," he said.

This highly regarded recruit is keeping his options open, however.

"I don't have any favorites," he says. "I don't even have the slightest clue where I'm going right now."

Florida is the only school other than Auburn that Rickerson has visited so far, though he is also considering Tennessee, Georgia, Penn State, Clemson and West Virginia.

He was impressed with the facilities at Florida during his June visit and thinks that new head coach Urban Meyer will "turn it around."

These are two reasons why Florida is an attractive choice for Rickerson.

"They're changing their play schemes. I think I could go in there and probably have a chance of playing early," he says.

Florida coaching staff members Greg Mattison, co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach, and Chuck Heater, recruiting coordinator and cornerbacks coach, maintain closer contact with Rickerson than do any coaches from other schools, Rickerson says. He receives text messages from Florida about every other day.

Rickerson does, however, also maintain close contact with all of the other schools he is interested in and has another official visit, at Penn State, scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 8.

The flurry of interest surrounding Rickerson began in earnest during last season's playoffs. He nabbed three interceptions and scored two touchdowns against Santa Fe, then grabbed two more interceptions in the following game against Jacksonville-Nease and everybody's All-America quarterback Tim Tebow. Though his talent had previously attracted attention, after his playoff performance he "started getting a lot of publicity."

After all the articles that have been written about him in local newspapers, "I'm kind of a superstar," he says with a laugh. "I'm used to it now."

Not bad for a kid who's been playing football for a decade, and whose dream has been to play at the college level.

"I like football because I like contact," he says. "I like hitting people." He says he is excited about "just going to the next step and showcasing my talent."

Though he might not have any favorites yet, the school Rickerson is looking for must combine good facilities, the opportunity for early playing time and a location that has an "entertainment life."

"That's really basically what I'm looking for, nothing big," he said.

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