MANSFIELD, Texas - Hassan Ridgeway prefers to let his actions do his talking, keeping his words to a minimum. As a 6-foot-4, 260-pound defensive end at Mansfield High he has not had to say much as his play on the field has drawn plenty of attention.
He has earned numerous honors and accolades for his play on the field, and Wednesday morning in the Mansfield High School weight room he stepped to the podium in front of his coaches, teammates, and parents as he was named a 2012 U.S. Army All-American.
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"I'd like to thank the U.S. Army game for inviting me first, and I would like to thank my parents," Ridgeway said. "Also all the coaches here, and most of all my teammates because I couldn't make it this far without you all. Thank you"
However, Ridgeway is known not only for his play on the field but also for his character and work ethic off of it.
"He's a very humble young man," Mansfield head coach Jeff Hulme said. "He does what he's supposed to do in the classroom. All the teachers love him. He has a great mom and dad that have done a great job with him and he has a little sister here who does a good job too. Like I said, he's a yes sir, no sir kind of guy and he works hard in everything he does."
Coach Hulme knew quickly he had a special athlete in Ridgeway, and the coaches quickly found a place for the standout.
"He's been a three-year starter for us and we certainly want to keep him around a few more weeks in the playoffs," Hulme said. "He does everything coach (Daniel) Maberry, his defensive end coach, asks him to do in practice, and he's just gotten better and better every year."
As a member of the 2012 U.S. Army Bowl squad, Ridgeway joins the ranks of players such as Vince Young, Andrew Luck, Adrian Peterson, and Haloti Ngata. Ridgeway is looking forward to playing in game, and holds the opportunity in high regard.
"It's the top. Being an All-American is the top," Ridgeway said. "It doesn't get any bigger than that in high school."
He admits the opportunity has yet to set in, but has no doubt it will upon his arrival in San Antonio for the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl that will be played Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012 at 1 p.m. ET in the Alamodome.
Ridgeway is a four-star prospect currently ranked No. 109 in the Rivals250, and following graduation will play football at the University of Texas.