Prospect Preview: Ricks College

Unfortunately, Ricks is entering its final year of junior college football competition in 2001 as the school's administration has pulled the plug.

RICKS COLLEGE

Location: Rexburg, Idaho
Head Coach: Ron Haun (19 seasons)
Conference: WSFL
2000 Record: 8-3
Interesting Fact: Since 1984, Ricks been ranked nationally in the NJCAA final Top-15 poll fifteen times.
Internet site: Ricks Football 


The Vikings

2001 TOP PROSPECTS

This program has been one of the nation's best year in and year out. With an 11-1-0 overall record in 1997, and a 10-1 record in 1998, the Vikings won back-to-back Western States Football League Crowns without a league loss. The Vikings finished 3rd in the final NJCAA poll both years. In 1999, they began the season as the top ranked team held the top spot for four weeks. The Vikings finished with a 10-1 performance in 1999, beat Garden City 59-26 in the Real Dairy Bowl, and owned a number four ranking in the final NJCAA poll.  Year 2000 followed with an 8-3 record, a 45-14 win over Snow in the Real Dairy Bowl, and a number nine ranking in the final NJCAA poll.

Head Coach Ron Haun has compiled an enviable 168-39-2 record in his nineteen years as the Vikings head coach. Since 1984, his teams have been ranked nationally in the top 15 of the National Junior College Athletic Association's final season polls fifteen times. In 1998 the Vikings won the Western States Football League championship for a seventh time, going 8-0 in league play.


2001 PROSPECTS TO WATCH

Next fall's team will be talented but very young, with the strengths being on both lines. All athletes will be recruitable since Ricks is dropping its program. And we're told that all of the incoming frosh are qualifiers.

Offense

Coach Ed Larson feels that all of the following OLs can play at the next level:

Peni Holakeituai
6-5, 305
Offensive Tackle
Notes: Was a DL last year but is switching to offense. USC is recruiting him as a OL, which could be part of the reason he switched over.

Aaron Acker
6-3, 290
Center
Notes: 2001 will be his first year as a starter.

Cade McMullin
6-4, 275
Offensive Guard
Notes: Returning starter. Served a Mormon mission in Panama '98-'99. Grayshirt @ Ricks College in '97. Attended Horizon HS in Colorado.

Victor Martinez
6-3, 295
Offensive Guard
Notes: RS Freshman.

Adam Hinckley
6-5, 300
Offensive Tackle
Notes: Freshman. Return missionary.

David Cousin
6-4, 290
Offensive Tackle
Notes: Returning starter.

Gary McGiven
6-5, 295
Offensive Tackle
Notes: Freshman. Return missionary.

Matt Smith
6-3, 285
Offensive Guard
Notes: Returning starter.

Robert Judd
6-4, 225
Tight End
Notes: Coach Larson feels that Judd, who is a RS-Frosh, will get up to 235+ by fall.

John Clark
6-5, 220
TE/WR
Notes: Related to former Ricks star, Mike Clark, who played for Houston and the 49rs. Runs a legit 4.6. "Like a (Ed) McCaffrey. He can play inside or out," said Larson.

Defense

Spencer Ray
6-5, 315
DT

Shawn Tidwell
6-4, 290
DT
Notes: Moves the best of Ricks' big DLs. Started for the University of Utah in their 2000 spring drills but as a OL.

Carl Tuitavuki
6-4, 325
DT

Adam Ullrich
6-3, 245
DE/LB
Notes: Runs a legit 4.58 forty. Not sure where he'll line up come fall.

Kody Kraus
6-3, 220
LB
Notes: Ricks' #1 rated linebacker. "He's our most versatile. Will be a big-time recruit. Loves to hit," said Larson. Kraus is also a track guy. Will be a sophomore.

Erik Tevaga
5-11, 180
CB
Notes: Transfer from Hawaii.

Ben Allen
5-11, 185
S/CB
Notes: Started at safety as a freshman but will probably switch to corner.


RANDOM NOTES

There doesn't seem to be another Marc Dunn (KSU) waiting in the wings to win the QB spot. The job will be up for grabs with both Dallas Stevens and Robby Haas battling it out. Both will be true freshman just off their missions.

Sounds like Marc Dunn, who set all kinds of QB records for Ricks last season, is doing very well at KSU. The midterm transfer loves it there and the coaching staff love him. "They can't believe how athletic he is," said Larson. Last year's #2 man, Ell Roberson, will have his hands full trying to fend off Mr. Dunn.

Do you think there was a better TE tandem on one JC roster last year than the Nead brothers? Spencer Nead made most people's All-American teams and signed with BYU. His brother, Kelly, didn't get the honors but did sign with Temple. "Kelly was a better blocker than Spencer," said Larson. "And he was just returned from his mission. He'll get up to 240 for Temple."


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