Hidden Gem in 2012 Recruiting Class

ThirdLegLouie's picture
February 2, 2012 at 6:21p

As much as I could make this a Jamal Marcus post, because I think he was universally underrated, I wouldn't quite call him a hidden gem at this point. Once Urban said his highlights bordered on "ridiculous", the cat was pretty much out of the bag, so to speak. Plus, at this point, Marcus is like that 12 seed in the brackets during March Madness that everyone is picking to get the upset- not as much of a Cinderella story as the 12 seed that nobody picks. 

For this class, the young man who I think could be the biggest sleeper is WR Ricquan Southward ( 6'2, 190) out of Lakeland, FL [ http://rivals.yahoo.com/miami/football/recruiting/player-Ricquan-Southward-132433 ]. Lakeland is a great football HS- some of the more recent products are the Pouncey brothers and Chris Rainey. You can find his highlights here: http://vimeo.com/30317915 *. Southward is one of the least talked about kids in this class (although maybe he's the smartest? Jumping on his verbal right before Urban was hired seems like a very intelligent, calculated move given how fast the schollies dried up once Urban took over). Southward had limited exposure in HS given that he was behind several D1 players at Lakeland. He only started at WR in his senior year, but when he did, he set the single game record at Lakeland for both receptions (12) and receiving yards (238). 

When I watch Southward's film, the Buckeye that I am most reminded of is Santonio Holmes, and not just because both were underrated 3* prospects out of FL. They're similar in size and stature, although Ricquan is listed at about 3 inches taller. Really impressed with Southward's timing on his jumps, thought he got good air when he went up- Just look at him go over that DB on the first play. Also, very underrated speed- definitely has ability to take it all the way. Most of all though, I like how physical he is with the ball- runs hard and does not shy away from contact. 


Also, on the FlaVarsity 160 rankings, which rank the top 160 players in FL, Southward made the biggest jump out of any player this year. He started out at 145 and ended up at 61. This is how the FlaVarsity described Southward, "Southward has a game similar to that of Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant. He is strong, big, and very physical. He is a true playmaker with the ball in his hands and always a threat to score on special teams. " Anybody else want a Dez Bryant in S&G? Ha. Regardless of whether or not he is THAT good, I still think this kid is going to be a very special Buckeye.

Lastly, here is an article from the local paper on Ricquan in regards to NSD: http://www.polkpreps.com/news/article/30193/polks-top-athletes-put-their-college-commitments-down-in-writing/


As always, Go Bucks!


*If anyone has a link to a better quality video of Southward's highlights, I would really appreciate them being posted!

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FortMeyer's picture

Is this kid fast? Anyone know a 40 time?

BuddhaBuck's picture

Doesn't look like he has an official 40-time... Google has failed us.  He looks like he has good football speed though... and more importantly, as ThirdLeg mentioned, good ball skills.

Don't text while driving.

ThirdLegLouie's picture

Couldn't find a 40 time although God knows I tried lol

If you ain't a Silver Bullet, you're a target

Buckeyejason's picture

I agree about these two being diamonds in the rough so to speak. Southward has a great chance to contribute now with Lewis out of the way.


Maestro's picture

I think Najee Murray and Pat Elflein look like sleepers.  Murray is an explosive hitter and Elflein is mean and relentless.

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swingo256's picture

southward looks like he's got some decent speed in this highlight video

Poison nuts's picture

Great highlights - good sleeper pick for sure. Not sure about all the showboating but I guess more kids are showman than are't these days. Don't see a 40 speed anywhere but looks like he's plenty fast.

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Irricoir's picture

I agree on the apparent talent. that was a horrible quarterback on that team. No telling how many stars he'd have with a talented passer delivering him the ball. I hope Urban knocks the show boating/all eyes on me cuz its all about me/stop running before I get across the end zone issues, out of this and any other kid on the team. 

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

Poison nuts's picture


"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

FLBuckeye's picture

Lakeland HS football is consistently a powerhouse in FL and this kid is coming from a great pedigree of talent; add current TB Buccaneer Ahmad Black to that list. They face some very stiff competition which is only going to benefit Ricquan. I like the comparison to Santonio who also came from another hotbed of talent, Belle Glade. I'm hoping Urban uses FL as much as he can in the future. (First post on the site btw, I'm a young Floridian who's loved Buckeye football ever since my Dad introduced me to it)

ThirdLegLouie's picture

I'm really excited about this kid--New video was added to Sunshine Preps recruiting page for Southward: 


If you ain't a Silver Bullet, you're a target

bassplayer7770's picture

Yeah, that's pretty impressive.  I saw good hands, good vision, and a burst of speed when he needed it.  Several times, it seemed like the QB put the ball up and let Ricquan figure out how to make the reception.  Plus, part of the video shows his blocking skills.  I was already thinking Ricquan would be a sleeper in this class, but this video does a good job of showing he should be a playmaker for tOSU.

ThirdLegLouie's picture

The section of the video that showed him blocking (about the 6:00 mark or so) is what got me excited with this particular clip just given how vital blocking is for WRs in Urban's spread. If you can't block, you won't play. 

If you ain't a Silver Bullet, you're a target