Ramon Richards relishes a challenge.
That’s no small factor in the explanation of how the Brackenridge quarterback helped raise the Eagles’ sights in the postseason last fall. After guiding Brack to its first football playoff victory in 15 years, the senior’s ambition was a key factor in his choice of Oklahoma State University as a college destination on July 13.
Oklahoma State is No. 14 in the USA Today preseason rankings for the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision.
“First of all, I like the team,” Richards said. “They’re a great team, and they get to bowl games. I’m happy that I’m going to a big-time school.”
Richards, who is entering his third year as the Eagles’ starting quarterback, will make the transition to the secondary in the Big 12 Conference. Oklahoma State recruited the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder as a defensive back.
“Coach (Van) Malone and Coach (Tim) Duffie, they like me as a person,” he said, referring to the Cowboys’ cornerbacks and safeties coaches, respectively, “not just as an athlete.
“When I was on my visit up there (in June), I noticed the freshmen were getting along like they’d been there for years. I know I’ll be comfortable and fit in at Oklahoma State.
“They want me to play defensive back, and I actually like playing defensive back. I just haven’t had a chance to do it much, except in certain situations.”
As the Eagles’ quarterback last year, Richards passed for 1,995 yards and led the team in rushing with 1,183 yards in 12 games for the 7-5 team. He completed 131 of 246 passes for 18 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. He used his 4.4 40-yard-dash speed to run for 19 touchdowns.
Richards made two interceptions last year in limited secondary duty.
“Ramon took a trip up there and he was very excited about it,” Brackenridge coach Willie Hall said. “He was keeping his options open. He’s the kind of kid who wants to do what’s best for you and for the team. But, at the end of the day, (recruiting) is all about you.
“He loved the school and he loved the facilities. He told me he liked the practice situation more than the game situation. And he really liked the coaches there. He wanted to play there and it was in a conference he wanted to play in.
“That was where he wanted to be. And, if he’s happy, I’m happy.”
Richards played for Brackenridge’s basketball team each of the last two years. He started at forward last year and averaged 9.9 points a game. Richards used his 32-inch vertical leap, which will aid him in the secondary, to be a strong rebounder and also was an adept distributor of the ball.
Before selecting OSU, Richards considered a wide variety of schools and was recruited for several positions.
The Cowboys were one of the few teams that considered Richards’ best future position to be defensive back. Oregon State University, another program that has been in the NCAA Division I top 25 in recent years, and Texas State University in San Marcos were looking at him as a wide receiver, Richards said.
Rice University and Yale University looked at him as a collegiate quarterback. The University of Memphis was scouting him under the athlete heading, meaning that Richards could end up any of four or five positions.
Other schools that were looking at Richards included Harvard University, the University of Houston and Sam Houston State University.
Oklahoma State offered Richards a football scholarship in June. At that point, he was still deliberating over which school, and which position, would be best for him.
“When they offered me, at first I was considering (committing) but decided to wait,” Richards confessed. “I was waiting to see if a closer school, like Texas State or Baylor would offer. But then I came to my senses.
“I realized an offer like this doesn’t come around that often. When I went up for my campus visit, it was amazing. I couldn’t let an opportunity like that slip through my hands.”
Richards is verbally committed to attend Oklahoma State for the 2014-15 school year. Players can’t officially sign a National Letter of Intent, which binds them to their college of choice, until Feb. 5, 2014.
He’s one of 17 players committed to Oklahoma State, including Medina Valley punter Zach Sinor.
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