Posted: 7:47 am Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
By Jeff Greer
The former coaching staff at Seminole Ridge heard or read it all.
Critics said they couldn’t win a big playoff game because their offense is too easy to defend, and because of that wing-T offense, no offensive players will ever play Division I football. Beyond that, the skeptics piled on, the Ridge coaches never help their kids get recruited.
Wednesday’s national signing day looked a lot like redemption for that frustrated group of coaches, who finally helped Seminole Ridge football break into the elite college football recruiting ranks with five seniors signing to play FBS-level football. The quintet sent their national letters of intent early Wednesday morning.
Two seniors, linebacker Rayfield Dixon and defensive tackle Kyle Shortridge, signed with BCS programs. Dixon chose to sign with Minnesota after West Virginia and Bowling Green pushed hard for him. Shortridge signed with Louisville, picking the Sugar Bowl winners over Nebraska, Purdue and a host of other Big 10, Big 12 and ACC programs.
Defensive end Jason Shepherd and cornerback Omar Pierre-Louis signed to Bowling Green as a tandem package deal. The duo almost helped Bowling Green snag several other prospects in the area.
That elusive offensive signee, Silas Spearman, made the wing-T look pretty good in the fall, rushing for 1,258 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior before signing with FIU.
Interim coach Justin Hilliker handled the recruiting process for Ridge. Before he left, ex-head coach Matt Dickmann rarely had a spare moment away from his cell phone, which buzzed constantly with college coaches contacting him about his players.