RJ Fleming-Ricard is only an upcoming sophomore for the Class of 2026, but he has already made his mark as a force to be reckoned with for the Catholic High School Bears in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At 6’3, 190 pounds, Ricard made an instant impact posting 6.5 sacks in varsity action as a freshman. His freakish athleticism and speed off the edge makes him extremely tough to block even at such a young age. Off the field, Ricard also is a smart young student having a 3.2 GPA. Just entering his second year of varsity action, Ricard has already put colleges on notice with an early offer from Grambling.
“I’m very confident even without the offer, I was confident in my potential the offer just added more. The way they threw me out there last year and I picked up on the speed of the game and got 2nd Team All-District, I know I’m just going to get better.”
Ricard knows he is going to get better and he has already showed that he is ready to put in the work to take his game to the next level. Just recently, the Catholic High School defensive lineman/linebacker hybrid went to our last Gridiron Football Elite Camp where he ended up being one of the camp’s top performers running an impressive 4.6/40 while also getting to show that he can be just as impactful in coverage as he is rushing the passer.
“I think I did okay at the elite camp to say that was my first time playing linebacker. It was not what I expected. I was a little nervous since it was my first time being at linebacker going against those running backs, but after my second rep, I was comfortable.”
He also picked up a lot of things from the camp that could help him become a more complete defender.
“I learned about keeping inside leverage and that will help me because this season, I’ll be guarding slot receivers more so I’m going to need those skills.”
This upcoming season, Ricard will hope to take those skills that he has learned to help the Bears even more as they look to compete for a state championship in 2023.
“My goals for the next season is to be an All-State player. I want to have at least 10 sacks and three picks. I also want to stack up more offers as the season goes by.”
The Gridiron Football Elite Camp has been a good start to the offseason leading up to his sophomore campaign as Ricard has gone to a couple of college camps including at LSU, Tulane, and Ole Miss. He has gone there to not only show out in front of college coaches, but to also get a feel early on for what he wants to look for in a college.
“I’m looking at what type of defense they run and where I could fit in the scheme. I’m looking for how welcome I feel on the visit and in some cases the location.”
Despite being a young and up and coming player, Ricard has an old school approach for the defensive side of the football.
“I model myself after Lawrence Taylor because he was unblockable when it came to pass rush and was a dog in coverage with the interceptions. That is my role on the team so I want to be as good as him.”
In speaking of the team, after going through spring, Ricard really likes what he sees from the 2023 version of the Catholic High School Bears heading into the summer.
“Everybody on the team wants to win state more than anyone because we fell short last year.”
RJ Fleming-Ricard is certainly a star in the making as his versatility on the football field will excite Bears fans for the next couple of seasons while at the same time, continuing to put his name on college coaches’ radars.
“I can play any position on the field. I want to be coached hard, and I’m always looking to dog my opponent.”