You don't have to tell Bamberg Ehrhardt high school's Ricky Sapp that he needs to be aggressive to succeed. You don't have to tell him that if he has a shot, he needs to take it. No, Sapp has all that on his own, which is just part of the reason Ricky was able to amass some impressive defensive statistics last year, totaling over 80 tackles, including 25 for loss and within that, 11 of those were for sacks. All this propelled him to the status of all-star, but all-state and all—region as well.
We were just talking about attitude, though. Sapp will be the first to say that attitude is the will, but physically, you still have to have the way to really be the full package on the field. "You've got to do it all out there," Sapp said. "You've got to be quick, you've got to be aggressive and if you have a shot on that quarterback, you can't waste it, you've got to take him down."
"Nobody is going to give you just a free lane to the backfield, so you have to use whatever you have to do it."
Along with the impressive stats comes an even more impressive frame, Sapp standing 6 foot, 5 inches tall, weighing right around 225 pounds. His height and quickness make him downright deadly at the prep-level. Sapp will tell you, though, that it doesn't hurt to have "the move". "The swim, baby, I got that going good," he said. "I get the step on that tackle, I use that swim and I know it's going to work every time."
That's what Sapp is looking forward to this year, looking to better everything he did last year, plus help his team to the elusive state title. Then there is of course, the recruiting and Sapp is pretty successful at that as well.
Sapp tries to recall some of his
23 offers, the first one coming from Clemson, the most recent coming from
That's enough for most people and realistically, Sapp probably isn't too concerned with other schools out there not showing attention as he seems to have his hands full as it is. But, while Sapp has this attitude on the field that you can't stop him, off the field, especially in regards to recruiting, he's playing things extremely cool.
"I'm not too worried about all that right now," he said. "I might try to narrow my list down before the season, but I haven't thought a lot about it. I figure I am just going to see what else happens and take it from there."
That attitude stays similar to his official visits, Sapp stating at one point that he would like to take them during the season and then another, saying that it might be better to do them after the year.
He's got time, though, as he said and while schools are coming after him, he's just taking in what he knows about them and seeing if it matches some of the current short-list of priorities he has. "I want to play right now," Sapp said about what was important about any school at the next level. "I want to get out there and do what I do. I don't want to sit on the bench if I don't have to."
The other criteria is something that most if not all recruits would agree with, having the desire to get to know the coaches as well as he possibly can. "You have to get to know the coaches, because you have to trust them," Sapp said. "The relationships are going to mean probably more than anything, because who I get along with the most, seem to be on the same level with as far as what they see me doing in the future, that's a place that I'd probably feel like being."
"But, I'm a long ways from that point right now."
If only the road to recruiting was as seemingly elementary as the road to the quarterback is after you've come of the shoulder of that tackle and broken free for the gallop towards a possible sack. Sapp would like that, because it's dealing with stuff he believes he can control.
The recruiting? He knows it's his decision ultimately in the end, but this is just the process to get back to doing what he ultimately wants to do. "Recruiting is just you waiting around, talking to coaches and everyone asking what you like, who you like and they tell you how much they want you at your school," he said.
"Football is football. That's the reason for all this, but when you can do it, you've got to do it with everything you've got. That's just the way I have always been and I can't wait to do it at the next level."