Coach comments on Ricky Thenarse

Want a true athlete? Check out Ricky Thenarse. The 6-foot-1 and 180 pound Thenarse is being recruited by some of the nation's top programs to play a number of positions. He starred at corner and running back this year for Los Angeles (Calif.) Jordan High School and could play either at the next level or safety. He led Jordan to their best year in over two decades. Read Part One of this two part interview.

Ricky Thenarse is special. As Coach Elijah Asante would tell you, Ricky played against some of the greatest players in the nation being that he is in Los Angeles and always held his own. More than that, he showed a lot of them up. Thenarse helped lead Los Angeles (Calif.) Jordan to their best season in over 20 years.

"It was a great season," Coach Elijah Asante said. "It was the best season that we have had in over 20 years. We were 8-3. We lost in the first round. Jonas Mouton is on that team and they were a higher ranked team than we were."

"He was the league MVP. He led the whole city in tackles. He had 163 tackles. He had 1300 yards rushing. He scored and 80 and 72 yards touchdowns as a receiver in the playoff game. Jonas is a great athlete, I rate him up there as one of the best, but it's right there on film when Ricky just opened up on him. Every step he was leaving him more."

When it comes to breaking down Thenarse on tape you see the speed. You see the strength. However, it's how he got that speed and that strength that Coach Asante says is actually Thenarse's biggest strength.

"His biggest strength is his work ethic. He has an incredible work ethic. You can say that there is a reason he makes those tackles and that there is a reason that he scores all of those touchdowns and it comes right back down to work ethic."

"He trains like Jerry Rice. He goes to the sand dunes. He is dedicated. He never misses a practice. There are very few kids that have that type of discipline at this age."

That production, that speed, that power and that work ethic have some of the best programs in the nation headed to Jordan High School to inquire about Thenarse. Coach Asante has been with Ricky on his only official visit so far. "USC, Nebraska, Cal and Texas is there, they are inquiring right now, but those are the main schools. He and I went to Nebraska for an official visit."

The opportunity to go to Nebraska was the first trip to that area and to Nebraska for both Coach Asante and Ricky Thenarse. While they were there the behavior that they saw was a little bizarre, but Coach Asante and Ricky both know the reasons and Coach Asante believes that the passion that Husker fans have for their team is second to none.

"They love football up there. It was crazy, just ridiculous. They knew who he was up there. Up there, football players are like rock stars. They don't have anything else going on; no professional sports teams of any kind. Nebraska football is all they have and it is ridiculously crazy."

"We came in from the airport and we were about to be a little bit late for the game. When we got there to the stadium there was this lady and she was in police custody and she was screaming in the car. She started banging her head against the window inside the squad car. Then she said why she was so upset and it was because she was about to miss the start of the Nebraska football game."

"She was going bezerk and we were just wondering if this was real. Then we got inside and there were a couple of fans and they knew who he was already because they followed us through. People follow recruiting and find out what you look like, because we have never been to Nebraska. They knew because they were like, 'Ricky Thenarse rules! Hey Ricky! You're coming here right?'. It's crazy. The passion that they have for football in Lincoln, Nebr. for football is probably unsurpassed."

Come back tomorrow to read the conclusion of the Big Red Report's interview with Ricky Thenarse's coach, Elijah Asante, when he talks about Ricky's favorites, what he is looking for in a school and Ricky's long-term goals. You won't want to miss it!


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