Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Profile: NAIA WR Andy Ricca

I love "feel good" sports stories about players that overcome adversity. Any player that has the talent, tenacity and work ethic to battle back from the depths is a player that deserves to get a look. Andy Ricca is a 6'1" 200 pound receiver from St. Xavier University in Illinois, and he is one of those guys.

Last season he shattered two single-season receiving records by grabbing 100 passes for 1275 yards (106.2y/g). The previous records stood at 56 receptions and 1009 yards respectively. Andy was tops in the NAIA in almost every receiving category in 2005. He was like a magnet, any pass that came his way ended up in his hands. Ricca has great concentration, agility and is a smart route runner.

What amazes me is the fact that he overcame TWO season-ending knee injuries in 2003 & 2004 which included two ACL surgeries. His career was all but over. But, Andy Ricca made a huge comeback and coaches say that this hard working former High School track star is faster than ever. It will be interesting to see how he does in '06.