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Ground Zero notes: Ricks, Green-Warren give updates

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position

Elias Ricks

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. - The Ground Zero 7-on-7 organization held its annual media day on Saturday and many top players were in attendance. Here are some takeaways from the event.

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Five-star cornerback Elias Ricks committed to LSU over USC, Ohio State and many others on Christmas Day giving coach Ed Orgeron a huge pledge since he’s rated No. 1 at his position in the 2020 class. LSU signed No. 1 overall prospect and five-star CB Derek Stingley, Jr., in this latest recruiting class.

The Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei standout is planning to take an unofficial visit back to LSU soon for its junior day. That’s the good news for the Tigers. But Ricks said he is planning all five official visits, too, with Ohio State, USC, LSU and Alabama getting trips and then he’s still figuring out his final trip with Oklahoma or Georgia as possibilities.

After his pledge to LSU, Ricks said his recruitment has gotten even busier with Ohio State being the most aggressive. He’s still solid with the Tigers, though, calling Orgeron and defensive backs coach Corey Raymond “father figures” in his life.


Disappointed by the departure of position coach Kerry Cooks to Texas Tech, four-star defensive back Darion Green-Warren said he remains committed to Oklahoma and still loves the program but that he will take other visits and see if there’s a better fit as his recruitment continues.

He said Cooks played a “huge role” in his recruitment with the Sooners and that him leaving does have an influence but there is still a lot to like about the Sooners. Still, Green-Warren plans to visit Florida State and Clemson soon and getting to LSU is also a priority. In early March, the four-star will visit Clemson after talking often with defensive coordinator Brent Venables.


Ohio State, Washington State and Oregon have been showing the most interest in four-star receiver Lavon Bunkley-Shelton, who had 81 catches for 1,012 yards in his junior season, and some visits are coming up.

The Gardena (Calif.) Serra standout said he’s been talking regularly with wide receivers Brian Hartline at Ohio State and he’s planning to visit for the spring game. Position coach Steve Spurrier Jr. is selling that Washington State throws the ball often and Bunkley-Shelton is buying it so he’ll be in Pullman for the spring game as well.

Oregon, Michigan and Oklahoma are three other schools the four-star is keeping a close eye on.


Four-star linebacker Justin Houston is looking at visits to Oregon, Arizona and Arizona State in the coming weeks and all three have been showing lots of interest recently.

The Gardena (Calif.) Serra recruit said Oregon was his favorite school growing up so the Ducks are definitely a frontrunner as he gets to know new outside linebackers coach Ken Wilson.

Arizona State also has Houston’s attention since former Serra star Merlin Robertson played so often and did so well in his freshman season with the Sun Devils. Arizona is intriguing as well since quarterback Khalil Tate played at Serra as well.


One of the top 2021 linebackers nationally, Raesjon Davis recently returned from a trip to LSU and he said he loved the environment there and drew comparisons between coach Ed Orgeron and his school coach, Bruce Rollinson, that could make things more comfortable if that’s the school for him.

But it’s still early and offers are coming in left and right. Already with a dozen offers, the Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei prospect said Notre Dame and Wisconsin are talking a lot with him. A trip to Oregon is expected soon and a return visit to LSU is not out of the question.