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Better Know a Freshman: Elias Ricks

The next great cornerback out of DBU

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: SEP 13 IMG Academy at St Joseph’s Prep Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

LSU produces great defensive backs. It’s just what we do around these parts. On the NFL 2010’s All-Decade team, both Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu were both on the list. And if that wasn’t enough, Mathieu was one of three former Tigers DB who made the 2019 All-Pro team along with Jamal Adams and Tre’Davious White.

Last season, LSU had the best defensive freshman football player in America with Derek Stingley Jr. The hope is Elias Ricks can make it back-to-back years.

The Story

Ricks was one of the first in the boat for LSU’s 2020 recruiting class. LSU was one of the first schools to pursue Ricks, offering the-then high school sophomore a scholarship in February 2018. After LSU’s offer, the blue bloods started trying to get Ricks on board: Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Auburn among others all offered Ricks as he headed into his junior year.

Ricks committing to LSU was quite literally a Christmas present, as the Rancho Cucamonga native committed on December 25, 2018. Almost a full year later, on December 18, 2019, Ricks signed his letter of intent and enrolled early.

The Numbers

Five-stars (98-110 rating): The top 32 players in the country to mirror the 32 first round picks in the NFL Draft. These are 32 players that we believe are the most likely to be drafted in the first round from each recruiting class. The full list of 32 with five-star ratings typically isn’t complete until the final ranking. Any player with a rating of more than 100 is considered a “franchise player” and one that does not come around in every recruiting class.

Four-stars (90-97 rating): These are players that we believe are the most likely to produce college careers that get them drafted. By National Signing Day, this number is typically in the range of 350 prospects, roughly the top 10 percent of prospects in a given class.

Three-stars (80-89 rating): This is where the bulk of college football prospects are found and it incorporates a large range of ability levels, all of whom we consider as possible NFL players long term.

A high three-star (87-89): is considered a player with significant NFL upside who expect to be an impact college football player.

A mid three-star (84-86): is a player that we consider to be a capable starter for a Power Five football team and an impact player at the Group of Five level.

A low three-star (80-83): is a player that we consider to be a potential contributor at a Power Five program but a probable Group of Five starter with impact potential.

Two-stars (70-79 rating): These are prospects that we consider to be FBS-level players with very limited NFL potential.

247 Composite Rating: *****

247 Compostine Ranking: .9928

The Film

Here you have Ricks dominating at both Mater Dei High School in Santa Clara, California and the IMG Academy at Bradenton, Florida. Mater Die and IMG are arguably the two best high school football programs in America and Ricks shined at both.

At 6’2”. 196 pounds, Ricks is already an NFL-sized corner. He’s got long enough arms to successfully jam receivers at the line and also has excellent closing speed and short area quickness. The two highlight videos don’t show too much of Ricks in run support, but 247 gave him very high marks as a run defending corner.

The Future

Just as Derek Stingley seized the starting corner spot vacated by Greedy Williams, Ricks looks to take over in place of Kristian Fulton. But unlike Stingley’s situation going into 2019, there’s far stiffer competition for Ricks. He’ll have to beat out Cordale Flott, who impressed as a true freshman in 2019, and Jay Ward for that starting corner spot.

Ricks definitely figures to be in Ed Orgeron and Bo Pelini’s plans if and when there’s a 2020 season. Ricks was limited in the three spring practices LSU had because of shoulder surgery. Ricks played all of his last season at IMG with a torn labrum and wore a gold non-contact jersey before spring ball was shut down.

High End: Ricks starts opposite of Stingley from day one and the duo give LSU the best corner tandem in America for the next two seasons; future All-American who adds to the Tigers’ Thorpe Award collection.

Low End: Flott and Ward are every bit as good as Ricks and he’s only a full-time starter his final season in Baton Rouge

Realistic: As the kids say, he’s got next. I don’t think it’s fair to compare him to Stingley, who may very well be the best DB LSU’s ever had, but you can expect Ricks to at least be an All-SEC corner, potential All-American and a first round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.