Elias Ricks is one of the few prospects who could make the argument for most well-tested athlete in the class of 2020. The elite defensive back, named to the inaugural SI All-American team Tuesday, has spent the last couple of seasons at two of the most talented prep programs in America -- Mater Dei Academy and IMG Academy.
The main reasoning Ricks gave for bolting to IMG Academy was in order to graduate this month, which is is in line for, ahead of starting college ball early on. But while competing at each program with the national schedules they compete against, which included each other in 2018, he has faced some of the best in the country and held his own. From his ball-hawking days at Mater Dei, seemingly returning a pass for a touchdown every week, to his IMG Academy time rarely seeing throws his way -- Ricks has proved his position.
The 6-foot-2, 192-pound defensive back committed to LSU on Christmas Day 2018 and has stuck with Ed Orgeron's program throughout the following year despite options like Alabama, USC, Ohio State and others on the table. Ricks took trips to each of the other options but never backed off of the commitment. He plans on enrolling at LSU in January.
Why Ricks is an All-American:
LSU considers itself 'DBU' and when prospects like Ricks make the call to play at a program like that it just seems to make sense. He has a great combination of length and instincts on his side and it makes attacking his side of the field quite the risk.
Ricks can win in any alignment, extremely comfortable at the line of scrimmage with his ability to play physically as well as playing off the ball. While a bit of a gambler when the football is in the air, he has come out on the right end of the equation more times than not and runs well enough to change the game even after creating a turnover.
Perhaps there still a chance he could ultimately line up at safety with the feel and range he plays the game with, but Ricks has an ideal blend of lock down qualities as well as the physical frame to continue to fill out and add strength while at the next level. DBU is getting that much better with him headlining the secondary class.
2019 SI All-American Offensive Team:
WR Malachi Wideman, FSU (Why Wideman? Highlights)
OL Nate Anderson, Oklahoma (Why Anderson? Highlights)
2019 SI All-American Defensive Team:
DL Jordan Burch, Uncommitted (Why Burch? Highlights)
LB Justin Flowe, Uncommitted (Why Flowe? Highlights)
DB Kelee Ringo, Uncommitted (Why Ringo? Highlights)
DB Enzo Jennings, Penn State (Why Jennings? Highlights)
ATH Avantae Williams, Uncommitted (Why Williams? Highlights)