Rickerson Ready To Make Immediate Impact

After the kind of high school season that most kids can only dream of, St. Augustine's Jacques Rickerson has his sights set on the next level. Rickerson played a huge role in St. Augustine's undefeated march to the State 3A championship and this four-star rated (by Scout.com) cornerback with the tremendous recovery speed sees an opportunity to make an impact even as a true freshman at the University of Florida in the fall of 2006.

(See Jacques Rickerson profile)

Rickerson committed to Florida in November right after the Gators obliterated Florida State in The Swamp. One of the many reasons he chose to commit to Florida is because the Gators have a depth problem at the cornerback position.

"I chose Florida mainly because of the chance of me coming in and playing early," says Rickerson. "I have a chance to probably come in and make an impact right away."

Rickerson likes the recruiting class that Coach Urban Meyer is bringing into Gainesville. Like so many others in this outstanding recruiting class, Rickerson has totally bought into Meyer's belief that players should make an impact on the field with the way they play and off the field with their character.

"I see a big change in the team between last year and this year," he said. "I believe it is really good and there is only one way to live and thats the right way."

Meyer has been a breath of fresh air for the Florida program with the way he treats players and how he is so involved in the lives of each team member. He makes it obvious that there is more to life than just what happens on Saturdays in the fall.

"He just doesn't care about football," said Rickerson. "He cares about family, grades and his players more than he does about football.

As Florida's recruiting class has filled up with one outstanding player after another, Rickerson has been the subject of intense recruiting by other schools. He says he remains totally committed to the University of Florida. He did take an official visit to West Virginia after he committed to UF but says he wasn't blown away by that trip.

"The Tennessee Volunteers and the West Virginia Mountaineers have been making a push for my service," he said. "They say they are still interested and will not stop trying to get me to change my mind until I sign with the Gators."

Jacques' uncle, Kenton Rickerson, played cornerback for the University of Central Florida. His uncle has had a profound influence on him.

"I used to go to his football games and I always wanted to be better that he was," Rickerson said.

Baseball was Rickerson's first passion, a sport that he stopped playing at the age of twelve to concentrate more on football.

"I would be a centerfielder in baseball if I did not play football," he said.

He is a Tampa Bay Bucs fan but also a fan of safety Ed Reed of the Baltimore Ravens and cornerback Champ Bailey of the Denver Broncos.

"I like the way both of them play no matter how the game is going," he said. "They always give 100 percent and they are both the leaders of their team."

If he could give one piece of advice to juniors who will be going through the recruiting process next year, Rickerson said, "Don't let it get to your head. Just take it all one day at a time and do not rush into anything."

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