Bring on the Longhorns

National Signing Day was not just a day to sign a piece of paper and fax it to a college. For Ricki Herod, it was one of the biggest days of the wide receiver's life.

"I've been committed for a while, but there's nothing like the feeling of officially being a Jayhawk," Ricki Herod said.

Turner Gill and his new staff were able to cast a net over the previously committed players from Mark Mangino's staff, and the North Mesquite product was one of them.

"To me, it feels like I'm going to be a part of history.  He is a really good guy, and I think we've got a good team.  We can go a long way in the Big XII with hard work."

Although he and his parents are happy to be over with the recruiting process, it was never as tough as other kids' recruitments.

"In my mind, I inked with Kansas a long time ago.  My parents didn't care where I went, they just wanted me going to college.  They are really proud of me."

The time is ticking, and the end of Ricki's high school career is just around the corner.  He will focus on the classroom and getting stronger, as well as maintaining his speed.

"College DBs  are a lot bigger than the 5'8", 5'4", and 5'7" guys I faced in high school.  They will be physical, especially in the Big XII."

If you were to ask the Texas receiver what his strengths were on the field, he would tell you that he just needs to keep working hard.  

"I guess I would say that my strength is my route running because I am able to get open a lot.  I need to keep improving on everything though."

On National Signing Day, Herod had some words with the coaching staff.  While his fax was being sent, he took out his cell phone and called the boss.  

"'You are officially welcomed into the Jayhawk family,' Coach Gill said to me.  It meant a lot because he was really excited that I had sent the formal paperwork in."

Another coach has been key in the recruitment of the talented receiver.  

"I talked to Coach Wyatt, my position coach, and I would say our relationship is definitely a good one. He is going to coach me and teach me to be the best I can be."

Now that the recruiting process has drawn to a close, what is Ricki going to do for the rest of the school year in addition to getting his diploma?

"I'm going to continue to work out hard. I thought about red-shirting, but now I'm ready to play. When I go to Lawrence I want to see the field, so I'm planning on making some things happen early."

He wants to see the field early, and he also wants a shot at playing his in-state powerhouse.

"As a kid I always wanted to go to Texas, and as I got older and the fact that they didn't really recruit me, I look at Texas as a rival now.  I'm ready to go out there and compete against them."

Herod already has a roommate in mind, and if he had his choice, he has picked out a number as well.

"Jeremiah (Edwards) is my boy, and we plan on talking to the coach and making us roommates.  I wore #18 in high school, and I would love to have it in college."

Is it all that important that he ends up with his high school number.

"If I don't get it, it's no big deal.  I make the number, the number doesn't make me." Top Stories