In the Southeastern Conference, recruiting battles can determine the difference between a solid team and a conference or national champion. Ricky Seals-Jones is the type of recruit that can be the key to an SEC title.
In 2008 Nick Saban convinced Foley, AL wide receiver Julio Jones to sign with the Crimson Tide and changed the direction of the program. Two seasons later Alabama players were celebrating the national championship.
Ricky Seals-Jones can have that type of impact on a program. He can be the difference maker that puts a team over the top in contests with top five opponents.
This is a look at why Ricky Seals-Jones may be the key to an SEC title.
At 6'5" 220 lbs with 4.4 speed in the 40, Ricky Seals-Jones is a matchup nightmare for opponents. He has played quarterback, wide receiver and safety for Sealy High School in Sealy, TX.
He projects as a wide receiver in college. At 6'5" he is too big for safeties to match up with in man coverage. With 4.4 speed he is too fast for defensive backs to line up against.
Once he develops into a more polished route runner, Seals-Jones will be a very dangerous offensive weapon.
The top recruits in the country pay attention to where the other top recruits are going. Ricky Seals-Jones is the No. 1 ranked wide receiver in the country. He is the top ranked recruit in the state of Texas.
When you are the No. 1 recruit in the state that annually produces over 300 college football recruits per year, you garner a lot of attention.
The top players want to go play with other great players. Wherever Seals-Jones chooses to attend college, other recruits are sure to follow. Recruits know the kind of impact that Seals-Jones can have on a team and would rather play with him than against him.
Seals-Jones would be tough to cover under normal circumstances, but being in a spread offense like the Texas A&M offense would enhance his effectiveness.
The coaches would be able to get him the ball in space and isolate him one-on-one with defenders. Even SEC defensive backs would have trouble tackling a 6'5" 220 lb receiver by themselves.
Seals-Jones' height and speed should make him an immediate threat in the red zone. He is the type of athlete that allows the quarterback to just put the ball up for grabs in his vicinity and expect him to go get it.
He could realistically be expected to step onto the field in the SEC as a freshman and snag four-to-five touchdowns in a typical offense. In the Aggies' spread scheme with quarterback Johnny Manziel breaking defenses down by scrambling, Seals-Jones could conceivably catch six-to-eight touchdown passes as a freshman.
Seals-Jones appears to deciding between Texas A&M and LSU as his college choices. No matter which school he decides to attend, he is sure to open up the offense for his teammates.
If he goes to A&M he will likely line up at wide receiver in 2013 and draw attention away from Mike Evans on the other side. Because of Seals-Jones' size and speed, he would likely draw a double team from a cornerback and safety.
That means that other wide receivers would be left in single coverage. The same holds true if he were to go to LSU. Seals-Jones would draw attention away from Odell Beckham.
As the recent SEC title game showed everyone, the difference between a championship and a loss can come down to one play. An athlete like Seals-Jones can help a team win those individual plays that result in championships.
Seals-Jones is the type of athlete who can affect a game in multiple ways. He had five interceptions in both his sophomore and junior seasons of high school when he played safety.
At the end of games or the first half, he is the type of athlete that Texas A&M or LSU can put on the goal line to prevent an opponent from completing a "Hail Mary" pass.
You cannot build a championship football team with one player. However, an elite athlete like Seals-Jones can make the one or two plays that can be the difference between a championship season, and just another winning season.