NORTH MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - One of the top prospects in South Florida is North Miami Beach's Ritchy Desir. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound athlete plays quarterback and safety for the Chargers, but it is his potential at another position that has college coaches excited. With cornerbacks being harder to find, especially bigger ones, Desir is an exception.
The offers that have poured in from schools all over the country are a testament to his ability to play the position. However, Desir is somewhat in the dark about those offers and that is the way he would like to keep it.
"My coach says I have a whole bunch of offers but I don't really worry too much about that," Desir said. "I know of a few of them but I'm just concentrating on football right now.
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"I know I have ones from Kansas, Syracuse, Texas Tech, Western Michigan and FIU. He says I have a bunch of others so I need to check with him and see."
With most high school teams opting to play their top defensive back at free safety, it is no surprise that Desir lines up there for the Chargers. However, he has experience at corner.
"Pretty much everybody is looking at me as a corner," he said. "I played free safety last year but I played cornerback my 9th and 10th grade years. I'm comfortable playing anywhere on defense. I worked out at corner a couple times this spring when coaches came by. I guess they wanted to see me there and I did well."
Though North Miami Beach is class 6A, the largest in Florida, the varsity team only fields 32 players. With most of the team being forced to play both ways, their year-round training regiment is something that draws compliments from opposing coaches.
"It's not tough on us, no," Desir said of playing the entire game. "You saw the running we do. We're in shape and we always want to be in better shape than our opponents. We take pride in that. We take pride in not just trying to get by in a drill but giving it every single thing we have during a drill. It's an attitude that our whole team has and that our coaches have instilled in us. What we put in is what we're going to get out of it."
The Chargers, who are regularly a power in the state and have more than their fair share of players currently starting for Division I programs, had a down year in 2009, finishing 4-6. That is something that Desir says will not happen again in 2010.
"We have a goal - to redeem ourselves," he said. "Last year, I felt like we embarrassed our program. We've just talked about not having the same season we've had last year. That's our main goal."
As far as recruiting, Desir says he has not thought much about it, if at all.
"There aren't any schools standing out just yet," he said. "I haven't been anywhere this summer and, honestly, I don't have plans to go anywhere the rest of the summer. I practice all summer. I'm waiting until December to worry too much about recruiting. This season is too important."
When it does come time to discuss his future, Desir will have the guidance of several people. However, none will be more important than his mother.
"I'm going to sit down with my mom and my coaches and talk about everything in December," he said. "I'm sure she's like most moms in that she'd prefer me to be closer to home, but it all comes down to what I decide and what I want. She's always supported me and she will with this too."
*Inside linebacker Keeon Virgile is another top prospect at the school. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound defender has offers from Kansas, Kansas State, Ole Miss, Texas Tech, Syracuse, Wake Forest, Minnesota, USF, Western Michigan, FIU and Bowling Green.
*Defensive end Travis Turner, who at 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds is also the largest offensive lineman on the team, has picked up offers from Syracuse, USF, Western Michigan, UCF and FIU.
*Athlete Trevor Ishmael could play a number of positions in college. He plays wide receiver and outside linebacker for the Chargers, but many think his future is at safety. The 6-foot, 185-pound prospect has offers from Syracuse, Memphis, Western Michigan, UCF and FIU.