By NEMCC Media Relations
BOONEVILLE – Former Northeast Mississippi Community College Tiger Michael Ricks took two years off from football but in the end the Alabama native’s hiatus paid off when Ricks signed with the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL) on July 28 just two days after former Tiger Mario Addison inked his deal with the Chicago Bears.
Ricks also becomes the fourth player off Northeast’s 2005 North Division championship team to sign with an NFL club. Following the 2008 draft, Chris Bradwell, Bruce Hall and Justin Sanders signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Buffalo Bills and the Detroit Lions respectively.
Ricks donned the black and gold for a pair of seasons (2005-2006) helping lead the Tigers to a 10-8 record that included an appearance in the Pilgrim’s Pride Bowl in Mt. Pleasant, Texas during his freshman campaign.
During his time at Northeast, Ricks was a two-time Mississippi Association of Community/Junior Colleges (MACJC) All-State selection and was named to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-Region 23 team after his sophomore season.
In his freshman year, Ricks recorded 48 tackles and six interceptions during the Tigers 7-2 2005 season and followed that up with a sophomore season where he appeared at safety and returned kicks.
During his sophomore campaign, Ricks finished as the fifth-best kick returner in the state averaging 24.8 yards a return with a long of 59 yards. In addition to his kick return prowess, Ricks recorded 32 stops for the Tigers and picked off a pair of passes in addition to causing two fumbles.
Following his time at Northeast, Ricks enrolled at Troy University (2008) for a semester before finishing his junior season (2009) as a member of the Stillman College football team.
During his time at Stillman, Ricks recorded 108 tackles, 13 pass break-ups and seven interceptions while appearing in 20 games for the Tigers.
After his career at Stillman, Ricks appeared in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) all-star game and locked down Fort Valley State’s Ricardo Lockette.
Ricks played his varsity career at Courtland High School in Leighton, Ala., where the former Tiger amassed over 1,900 yards of total offense as a running back but it was on the opposite side of the ball where Ricks earned the awards.
Ricks was named the Class 1A Most Valuable Player in Alabama when he led the entire state with 16 interceptions his senior year and was named the Decatur Daily Class1A-3A Player of the Year after leading the Courtland Chiefs to the Class 1Astate title game.
Ricks was also a two-sport star at Courtland High School and when not playing runningback/cornerback for the football team, Ricks was a finalist for the Mr. Basketball award on the basketball court.