Cavanaugh narrowing down his options

Aggie Websider's David Sandhop visits with Austin (LBJ) linebacker Ricky Cavanaugh about his recruiting process and the Aggies chances after jumping into the game late. He also discusses his planned visit to A&M this weekend and what he thinks of head coach Mike Sherman.

In every recruiting season at this time of year, a relatively unknown prospect surfaces that catches the last minute attention of several significant Division I programs.
Ricky Cavanaugh
Add Austin (TX) LBJ outside linebacker Ricky Cavanaugh to the list in 2008. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound speedy linebacker has jumped onto the recruiting landscape in recent weeks with offers from Baylor, Oklahoma State, Kansas, and Texas A&M. The Aggies were the latest to offer this week.

"The schools initially got an old transcript with some bad grades on it, but they just got a new one, and it's mostly A's and B's," said Austin LBJ coach Claude Mathis. "He's improved on his SAT score. He is only 20 points away from qualifying, so he is really close now and schools are getting interested."


Ricky Cavanaugh
So what makes Cavanaugh one of the fastest-rising prospects in the state as signing day approaches? Just look at his season statistics and it's easy to see. The outside linebacker terrorized the backfields of Austin-area teams to the tune of 137 tackles and 22 sacks.

"Ricky is just a great player. He's quick, agile, and has a nose for the football," said Mathis. "He was not only our district MVP but our team MVP. He is just a solid overall football player and a great person as well."

Cavanaugh himself attributes his success on the field to his combination of power and quickness.

"The strength of my game is my power and quickness," Cavanaugh said. "I can use my speed and quickness to go side-to-side and pursue the ball. I can also take it to a blocker and try to overpower my way to the ball."


Ricky Cavanaugh
That combination of skills along with his promising academic outlook has college coaches lining up at the high school to see the playmaking linebacker. Yesterday afternoon, Kansas coaches showed up at Coach Mathis' office along with Texas A&M head man Mike Sherman.

"I'm going up to A&M this Saturday for a visit," Cavanaugh said. "Coach Sherman seems like a good man. He says he's looking for speed and someone who can pressure the quarterback and I'm that guy."

Cavanaugh recently returned from Baylor last weekend and gave the Bears good marks on the visit.

"I liked it a lot. The coaches thought I could be an impact player for them at outside linebacker in the 4-3," Cavanaugh said. "The people were nice and I enjoyed the community."

He's also scheduled to visit the Jayhawks on February 1 before making his final decision. He admits that he's leaning to the Aggies heading into his last two visits, but he wants to take these trips before making up his mind for good.

"I'll see where things stand after that," he said.

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