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100 Days of Summer: Get to Know No. 7 Ramon Richards



Seven days. That’s right, guys. We are about to enter #GameWeek. Let’s finish this thing out right starting with one of the most polarizing players — and characters — that’s been through Stillwater in some time.

How he got to OSU

Versatility has been an attribute of Ramon’s since well before he got to Stillwater. At Brackenridge High School (San Antonio, Texas), he played quarterback and safety, scoring 63 touchdowns his final two years (31 passing, 32 rushing) despite missing a chunk of his senior year due to a concussion. Richards was named to the Texas High School Football All-Elite Team for Class 4A Region IV as senior.

And he excelled in the classroom even receiving offers from Harvard and Yale as well as Houston, Rice and Sam Houston State. A Renaissance man of sorts, but you can call him Ramon or Honcho.

What he’s done in Stillwater

Richards played in every game as a true freshman and was thrust into a starting role after Ashton Lampkin when down with injury in Week 4. There were some growing pains in his first year but his athleticism and play-making ability showed. He grabbed three interceptions including a 38-yard pick-six against Kansas State.

Since then Richards has grown into one of Oklahoma State’s leaders — and its best quotes. His 23 career starts is second only to fellow safety Tre Flowers (32) on defense.

Role in 2017

Prior to the start of spring practice, Mike Gundy surprised us, announcing that his only cornerback with any experience to start with — much less starts — would move to safety. The hows, whys and huh???s were quieted a bit with the addition of Adrian Baker but it’s apparent that Glenn Spencer isn’t worried. In fact, the move of Richards to safety was motivated by confidence in that young group of corners.

Which meant Ramon had to show another form of leadership that didn’t include climbing atop lockers or frantically engaging the fanbase. He changed positions without regard for how he might be viewed. Because it’s what was best for the team.

“Ramon’s all about what’s best for us,” Spencer told PFB “and to get the best 11 on the field, that’s the best move. If something was to happen at corner, Ramon and Darius can always go back to corner.”

There also appear to be tangible motivating factors to get Richards into centerfield full-time.

“That position in certain areas, in certain areas, where Ramon might have been deficient in some technique things at corner, might be to the advantage at safety,” Spencer said. “Just some things you have to do with your eyes, discipline issues.

“He might have the ability of being in more of the middle of the formation to make more plays. We’ll see, but he had a good spring doing it.”

I’ll go ahead and translate: Ramon is a crazy man and a crazier player, and we need to take him off the island and set him loose on opposing teams’ passing games like a Tasmanian Devil.

Ramon does seem to have a nose for the ball. Without fact checking, I’m going to proclaim that 90 percent of Ramon’s INTs were because he was in the right place at the exact right time — which is a skill (one that Gundy loves) — and that when he is disciplined and within his coverage assignment the ball simply ricochets off of his mitts.

Exhibit A:

And Exhibit B:

By my unofficial count, he got his hands on about 15 balls that looked like picks during that game. The good news is that Ramon gets to just be Ramon this year. And that’s all we could ever want for (and from) him. Also, he seems to be the guy OSU’s offensive players struggle against the most in scrimmages.

Noteworthy stats and highlights

Ramon was fourth on the team with 64 total tackles in 2016, which is impressive from the corner spot. He’s behind only Chad Whitener (71) in returning tackles from a year ago. He’s tallied eight interceptions during his three years in orange. With his new position which seems to fit his aggressive style, look for an uptick in both numbers. And most importantly, in “Ramon” plays.

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