"Letter on intent day was the greatest day of my life. After working so hard for so long, it was great to sign with the Panthers," stated Gary. "I can't wait to get to Pittsburgh and get started. I love it there and I love the fans. Tell the fans that I said hello."
Gary was a four-year starter for Pahokee High School. He was named first team All-Florida Class 2B, first team all-area and all-district after a successful senior season. Ricky registered 37 tackles and 4 interceptions.
"I want to be the best cornerback to ever play at the University of Pittsburgh. I know they have great cornerbacks there. I know (Darrelle) Revis is talented, but I want to be considered the best."
Pahokee High School finished the season 12-2 and finished as the Florida Class 2B runner-up. Gary was selected to play in the Outback Steakhouse All-Star Game. He runs the forty-yard dash in 4.5 seconds.
Gary is true believer in the benefits of hard work. He is diligently preparing for his freshman season with the Panthers. "I finished running track, so I'm running on my own right now and lifting weights. I have been working on my technique as well," said Ricky. "I have been using the lifting program sent to me from the Panthers. I hope to weigh around 185 pound when I get to Pittsburgh."
"My main goal is to know the play book really well. The better I know the play book, the sooner I can get onto the field and compete. Josh Lay is gone and the left cornerback spot is up for grabs. I want to be the starter at that position."
A number of scouting services stated that Gary's height may have been a detriment to his recruitment. At a generously listed 5-foot-9 inches tall, a number of schools questioned if he would struggle against larger receivers. Ricky was quick to dispel any talk of his height. "I realize that size does matter, but I play big. I'm fast and physical. If you play with a lot of heart, you can overcome any size issue. I play with passion and a lot of heart. My play will speak for itself."
Gary won't be alone when he ventures to Pittsburgh. Tamarcus Porter (6-foot-1 inches, 185 pounds), his first cousin, is another member of the class of 2006. He was generally considered one of the top athletes in the state of Florida. Porter is an accomplished wide receiver and defensive back. Gary was quick to mention that the cousins frequently practice together. "I work out with Tamarcus one on one all the time. He helps me understand what's going through the wide receivers mind. I help him understand how a cornerback would react to some of the things he does on the field. It helps you out from a technique stand point," said Ricky. "Tarmacus is heading to Pittsburgh on May15th. I'm going to go there June 23rd."
"My recruiting class is going to make a huge impact with the Panthers. I have looked at our class and seen film on your site (PantherDigest.com). You can see that we have a pack of "ballers" that are going make a big impact. I can't wait to get to Pitt."
Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at email@example.com.