Diamond in the Rough: Joshua Ratcliff

Joshua Ratcliff is a 6’1” 240 lbs. All-State and District MVP defensive end for Assumption High School in Napoleonville, Louisiana. Joshua runs a 4.8 second 40-yard dash, bench press 290 lbs., and squats 530 lbs. Ratcliff has a few junior college offers so far, along with a preferred walk-on offer from Nicholls State.


How long have you been playing football and what got you started playing?

I’ve been playing since I was seven years old. I was supposed to be on the “B Team” when I started playing, but I was too big so I had to move up.


What has football taught you about life?

It’s taught me to not be selfish. I have to trust my teammates, because I can’t win by myself. If the ball is on the other side of the field, I know that guy is going to make a tackle and he knows I’ll make the play when the ball comes to me. Football has also taught me to be a better person.


In a few words, how would you describe yourself as a football player?

All-in. Whatever I do I’m going to go all-in for the team whenever they need me.


Where do you see football taking you in life?

If I keep working hard, I believe I have a shot at playing in the NFL. My favorite player is Aaron Donald, and he is only an inch taller than me. I feel like we are similar players and our talents are similar, so if I keep working I think I can do big things.


What is a strong point of your game that makes you a great football player?

I have played offensive line, so as a defensive lineman I understand where offensive players are trying to get hand placement and how their footwork gives away keys, such as when guards pull, and I can find their weaknesses.


What makes you special as a member of the team?

I am a leader and I pick up plays quickly. I give my heart to the team and respect all my teammates and coaches and I always do the best that I can to give my team the best shot to win.