Jahvaree Ritzie: The big-time DE with track speed and great grades that still loves his Legos

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4-star DE Jahvaree Ritzie is one of the most unique prospects in the 2021 class.

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry is about 4-star DE Jahvaree Ritzie in the 2021 class out of North Carolina. 

Peep the headline again. This tale will call for a re-read.

It allows the chance today to craft something intriguing about North Carolina DE Jahvaree Ritzie and not mention the hair.

The hair, in and of itself, is certifiably glorious. That’s his signature. Well, maybe except for the fact that he is the textbook picture of what an ideal athlete at the defensive end position looks like.

Have you ever seen a 270-pound defensive end who runs in the relays and throws the shot for his track team with red LED lights zig-zagging around his long flowing hair? (Jahvaree Ritzie/Courtesy photo)

Even with the hair.

“I started growing it like at the beginning of the eighth-grade year,” he said. “It was during my eighth-grade year for me now my hair is just my hair. It is something I like. I like to have it free.”

“My family is just a hair family. Except for my brother. My brother likes it short and waves. But my mom is the hair and her side of the family is just all hair, too.”

He has Georgia high on his list but does not seem to be anywhere close to making a decision. That was even before the COVID-19 global pandemic which has sheltered our nation.

Ritizie enjoyed a trip earlier this year for a “Junior Day” back in January. He had planned to return for another unofficial for G-Day.

“I don’t know why I really liked Georgia so much and felt it was such a great visit,” he said last month. “That’s a good question. What was different? I don’t know. It was just a different atmosphere so we just wanted to come back and enjoy it again.”

The 6-foot-4.5, 270-pound rising senior currently stands as the nation’s No. 14 strong-side DE for the 2021 class on the 247Sports Composite rankings. That places him at No. 210 overall for this cycle.

The well-respected national recruiting analysts, such as Barton Simmons of 247Sports, hint that Ritzie is doing for a rankings bump coming up soon. He’s right on the money with that.

Players like Ritzie simply do not come along that often. Let’s tick off the reasons why:

  • His high grade-point average isn’t high enough. He listed it as 3.8 to 3.9. “I’m really trying to get it to a 4.0,” he said.
  • Was credited with 74 tackles, 18.5 tackles for losses, 15 hurries and six sacks in 2019.
  • Finished fourth in the North Carolina state indoor meet in the shot put with an effort of 52 feet, 11.25 inches.
  • His best heave in the shot at an indoor meet so far has been 54 feet, 9 inches. He said his personal best with the shot put was right at 57 feet.
  • He planned to run the 4 X 200 meter and 4X 400 meter relay during outdoor season. He will also think about the open 200 and 400 meters at certain meets. That’s just for points for his team. “But my main two are the shot put and the discus.”
  • Ritzie plays in the second-largest classification (Class 4A) in North Carolina
  • He’s also academically stout. If he wanted to, he could have graduated early as a junior in June. But he plans to take on his senior season and enroll in January.
  • There is not a set date when he will make his college decision. He had hoped to make his college commitment in September of his senior year. He was thinking about his school’s homecoming game. He plays for Glenn High School (Kernersville, NC) in the Winston-Salem area. But that’s all up in the air at this time.
  • When that time comes, it will be a family decision. They will track all the pros and cons that they notice from a certain school. “We all have got to love it,” he said.
  • His faith clearly matters to him and he comes across, even in just a few minutes of conversation, as a very articulate and extremely positive person.
Jahvaree Ritzie is being recruited to Georgia by defensive line coach Tray Scott. (Jahvaree Ritzie/Courtesy photo)

Jahvaree Ritize: What motivates this North Carolina 4-star

He’s clearly driven. That is thanks to a hard-charging Mom.

“To be honest, my reason why is my Mom,” Ritzie said. “Everything that I really do is for her. Because everything that I have done so far has been given to me and came to me because of her. I’m really doing all of this for her. Because if it wasn’t for her, I really wouldn’t have been able to do anything that I’m doing right now.”

The hair certainly stands out here with 4-star North Carolina DE prospect Jahvaree Ritzie. (Jahvaree Ritzie/Courtesy photo)

When he speaks about his mother, his tone will turn so appreciative and thankful. He makes it clear that Kindra Ritzie-Worthy is really his world.

“She’s gotten me into everything. Track. Football. School. She’s helped me through everything. That’s my ride-or-die right there. That’s really my reason why I do the things I do.”

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