There were no hat games on Wednesday for Ricky Seals-Jones. No baby animals. No girlfriend revealing a shirt with the school of his choice. When the 6-5, 220-pounder made the decision to commit to Texas, he simply made the phone call to head coach Mack Brown with his family and then notified the assembled media that he had committed to the Longhorns.
It was hardly a shocking decision, as Texas appeared to have a significant lead for RSJ for some time, despite offers from around the country. The do-everything player for his high school is now the sixth commit for the Longhorns in the 2013 class, joining friend Tyrone Swoopes, the Whitewright quarterback who committed last Friday.
It's already an extremely strong offensive class for Texas, which now has a quarterback in Swoopes, a running back in Arlington Martin's Kyle Hicks, another wide receiver in Dallas Jesuit's Jake Oliver, and two potential offensive linemen in Celina's Jake Raulerson and Fort Worth Arlington Heights' A'Shawn Robinson. All that without receiving a single commitment on the first Junior Day.
Recruiting momentum unlocked.
ATH Ricky Seals-Jones #4 Sealy HS (Junior Highlights) (via CountdownCityPreps)
A star basketball player in high school who is averaging more than 30 points during his junior season, RSJ is one of the better athletes nationally for his size -- 6-5, 220 pounds. He has expressed a desire to play wide receiver in college, but could quickly outgrow the position, as he has the frame to carry 240 pounds or more in time without losing the speed that makes him a special prospect. At 3A Sealy, he also plays safety and could be an excellent outside linebacker or defensive end in college, though it's highly doubtful that he ends up on that side of the ball.
On offense, Seals-Jones mostly played quarterback for Sealy as a junior, though he did spend some time at wide receiver. A running quarterback, RSJ doesn't have the first-step explosiveness of some shorter players, but he does have solid speed when he does get going -- certainly enough to be in the upper echelon of college tight ends in that category -- and shows off some solid feet that allow him to change direction well for someone of his size. His jump cut laterally is particularly effective for taking the edge. As a result of his size and strength, he's difficult to bring down for smaller tacklers and at times has the balance to spin out of tacklers and stay on his feet.
There's not a lot of film on RSJ as a wide receiver, so it's difficult to get much of a sense of him as a route-runner, but it's probably reasonable to expect some transition time to be needed there to refine his skills. There is some evidence that he can use the leaping ability that makes him such a beast on the basketball court to high-point the football, but he doesn't always attack the football with his hands as a pass-catcher.
If he does grow into a tight end, there will be an adjustment period for him as an in-line blocker, but based on his highlights, he's a willing blocker downfield who can take out defenders in the open field who have their heads turned. Maulerson would be proud. If he stays at receiver for the first part of his career, his size could make him an excellent blocker on the perimeter in the wide receiver screen game and in the running game on the edge.
A left-handed passer, it's also possible that Bryan Harsin could have him throw the ball on trick plays, as he has the arm strength to push the ball downfield and can throw on the run.
On the other side of the ball, RSJ shows off his ball skills and instincts with a handful of interceptions and some vicious hits, much like Tyrone Swoopes.