Ricky Clemons: 2009 Prospect

The names of the top recruits for the 2009 recruiting class are starting to emerge as the high school football season starts to heat up. An offensive lineman to keep an eye on is Ricky Clemons from Carman-Ainsworth High School (Flint, Mich.) Clemons has already heard from a couple big-time programs and he'll likely hear more as of Septemeber 1.

Notre Dame hasn't landed a recruit from Michigan since Charlie Weis first took over the program in February 2005. The Irish would like to change that with the 2009 recruiting class. Carman-Ainsworth head coach Jason Vandermass has already has a couple top programs ask about his offensive lineman, and he expects to receive a lot more inquiries about Ricky Clemons (6-foot-5, 305 pounds).

"There will be quite a few people interested in him" coach Vandermass responded when asked about his standout lineman. "Notre Dame hasn't been in touch with me yet about him, but Michigan has been in touch with him quite a bit. Penn State has called a few times. I don't know what type of letters he's been getting at home, but I imagine he'll get quite a few tomorrow when schools can start recruiting the juniors.

"He's an offensive tackle right now and I think he'll play there as at the next level as well. He's pretty close to being college ready. He grew up with the right genes, but he also works extremely hard. He knows that he has a lot of opportunities.

"He's got great size and strength," Vandermass said. "He's a junior, but he has experience and we have some guys that he practices against that are making him a to better. He's got a great work ethic and he's really a great kid.

Vandermass is in his first year at Carman-Ainsworth, but it didn't take long for Clemons to make an impression on his new head coach.

"I wasn't here to see him come up, but I know he started on the varsity as a sophomore<" Vandermass explained. "When I got here, I was immediately impressed. He made immediate impact and he's an excellent young man.

"We do a few things different. We're based out of the spread offense. He's had a lot of stuff thrown at him this year, because of the new offense, but he's responded. We ask him to pull and he does a good job at that. He's getting up to the second level quite a bit with our blocking schemes. He's done a very good job of positioning his feet and getting in the right stance to block those little guys.

"Like I said, he's got the really good size and strength, and he has good technique. He's got to work a little bit on his feet. He's quick enough, but he's just got to refine what he does. He's pretty good at both right now though.

"He'll say something if [to his teammates] if he needs to, but he leads by example," Vandermass said. "He gets his job done. He's a nice young man, but once he steps between the lines and its time to go, he gets after it."

"He went tot the Michigan camp last year. We'll talk about which camps he wants to go to once the season is over."

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