Popularity soaring for Mississippi TE/DE

For a kid that didn't know how good he was, turns out that he's pretty good indeed. Ok, not just good, but better than that, however, Richard Dickson would be the last one to admit it. The flurry of recruiting attention has been educational and at times, busy. But, based on the two most recent offers, adding to his already impressive list, this standout TE/DE prospect is quickly rising to the top.

Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi, Mississippi State, LSU, Nebraska and Tennessee.


That's a nice list for Ocean Spring high school's Richard Dickson.


Well, it just recently got considerably nicer as Florida State and Michigan added their name to the already impressive list.


That's how it is when you stand over 6 foot, 3 inches tall, weigh right around 240 pounds and can run a 4.7/49, jump 33 inches, while benching 300 and squatting 455.


Yeah, the stats don't hurt either, Dickson totaling over 100 tackles from the defensive end position, 35 of those for a loss, and as a tight end, Richard scored 8 touchdowns, totaled 500 yards receiving, averaging around 15 yards a catch.


It's a no-brainer this physical athlete is getting offered, but you'd be hard pressed to convince the humble Mississippi native. "I'm excited about it, but all of it didn't really hit me with all this until I started getting offered by those big schools," Richard said.


"But, I know I am ready for football."


Richard didn't have to wait long for that as spring ball started down at Ocean Springs, but he knows that after that, it's a long time until his final high school season begins.


The waiting around and constant working out hasn't made him stagnant, however, Richard saying that in his free time, he's already been to spring practices at Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and LSU. LSU also got a visit from him for their annual spring game.


With the two most recent offers, it's gotten Richard to thinking about something that really hadn't crossed his mind until now; just what will the attention be like when everyone can call, come visit and everything else that comes with the recruiting experience?


That's got Dickson thinking that his decision may not take as long as he thought. "This has all been real exciting," Richard said. "And, I know it still will be, but it looks like it could be a big distraction during my season and I don't know if I want to go through that my final year of ball."


I'd really like to see what those schools are going to do next year, but I think this is a decision that I need to make before my season starts."


With only one year playing tight end, you'd think that Dickson's preference would be more towards the defensive side of the ball. He was such a natural at it, though, that he found just as much to like about that position as any other he'd played during his high school career.


Point of fact, schools like Nebraska have said they were recruiting him specifically to play that position, while other schools like the Mississippi programs have said that wherever he fits, that's where he'll play.


It doesn't matter to Dickson as he is like many kids that come out of the prep-level, regardless of how much hype and hope they bring along with them. He just wants to play. "It was my only year playing tight end, but I liked it a lot," he said. "I am more comfortable on defense, just because I have been doing it my whole career."


"I played fullback some when I was younger, but tight end seems to be something I can get used to. I know I like taking those catches in for a touchdown."


There's no doubt going to be a lot of that in his future as he goes into his last year and there will come even before that, plenty more offers. However, even with the idea that he might opt for an early decision, if Rich had to make it now, he has no idea where he'd be.

"Right now, I just don't know," he said. "It's hard when you start getting offers like this, because you want to check them all out. But, if they keep coming like this, it's going to make it hard to figure it all out before my last season begins."


Not even the fact that his dad had played for Mississippi State even comes in as a factor and there's a good reason why the former Miss. State player isn't trying to convince his son to go to his alma mater. "Well, my dad went to Mississippi State, but his dad went to Ole Miss, so that's probably why he's not saying that I should go to Ole Miss," Rich said.


"Honestly, I don't feel any pressure to stay in-state, but like I said, right now, I just don't know."


Dickson that said over the course of the summer, there could be some camps and more unofficial visits to be taken, but there's nothing solid as to who, when and where.


So, with this latest two offers from two of the bigger names in college football, the stock and name itself of Richard Dickson seems to be taking a rather substantial rise. And, with the evaluation period already upon us, chances are, that is only going to grow.


Dickson is thrilled, of course, but he's got the best idea about what he thinks of the attention that seems to be growing at an almost meteoric rate.


"I like it, but if I stop now, none of those schools will stick around," he said. "It's like they are offering you because of you've done, but they are also offering you because of what you do."


"Now, I just want to play."

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