After reclassifying from the class of 2024 to the class of 2023 back in October, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy five-star cornerback Desmond Ricks has been busy figuring out the next step of his recruitment. With the Early Signing Period approaching, the talented defender made a cut to his top schools, naming three finalists consisting of Alabama, Florida, and LSU.
Ricks has visited all of those schools multiple times over the course of his recruitment, and he has official visits set up to the trio again before the Early Signing Period. He will take an unofficial visit to LSU this coming weekend. The Gators are set to host Ricks for an official visit the weekend of December 2. Alabama is set to be the following weekend of December 9th according to 247Sports Steve Wiltfong. The Tigers will have the final official visit the weekend of December 16. We at Swamp247 have already reported to watch for him to sign in December, which is now confirmed.
Florida cornerbacks coach Corey Raymond has been Ricks lead recruiter in Gainesville.
“He just is telling me to keep on grinding and that he would love to have me here,” Ricks said of Raymond. “He isn’t the type to tell you how good you are day in and day out. He’s going to develop you and get you better and make you the best you can be. I talk to him a couple times a week. I talk with Coach Napier about once a week. He’s real cool and down to earth. We just have regular conversations.”
Below is 247Sports player evaluation on Ricks:
What everyone seems to be looking for these days in an outside cornerback prospect. Tall, fast, explosive and physical. Put together a standout youth football career up in Virginia before moving down to Florida and transferring into the national powerhouse that is IMG Academy for his final two years of high school. Was initially a member of the 2024 recruiting cycle, but reclassified to the class of 2023 in October of 2022 shortly after he turned 18 years old. Can run –and more importantly– find the football, which is an important skill to have in an era where most offensive coordinators want to stretch the field. Rather battle-tested for a youngster having seen plenty of targets come his way both on Friday nights and the 7-on-7/camp circuit. Usually holds his own in coverage, and has a higher success rate in 50-50 situations, but has still given up some long gains and can get caught wandering. Should be able to cut down on mistakes as he refines his technique and learns how to consistently get wide receivers off schedule. Spent a good chunk of 12th grader year working on the inside in one of the nation’s most talented prep secondaries. Could probably be deployed as a slot corner on Saturdays, but ceiling seems to ultimately be the highest as a wide defender given his longer stride and ability to take away throwing lanes with his size. Must keep progressing and get better at anticipating/feeling out routes, but should be viewed as a multi-year starter and potential all-conference player at the Power Five level. Favorable frame (over 6-foot-1) and elite testing profile (4.5 in the 40-yard dash to go along with a near 39-inch vertical jump) likely to have him on the radar of NFL scouts one day.
The 247Sports Composite, an industry generated average, currently ranks Ricks as the Nation’s’ No. 15 overall prospect in the 2023 recruiting class and the No. 2 ranked cornerback.