Kelee Ringo is an All-American. Officially. Even though he’s played like one for a few seasons now.
The nation’s No. 1 CB prospect and No. 6 overall recruit received his All-American Bowl jersey on Friday afternoon in front of his Saguaro High School (Scottsdale, Ariz.) classmates and his high school football team.
He chalked it up as a pretty special day.
“Most definitely,” he said. “This has been a huge dream of mine ever since I heard of the All-American Bowl and also seen it.”
The events of the day placed a lot of shine on his abilities. Yet the 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior also put his mother, Tralee Hale, on a pedestal of her own on Friday.
There are single mothers across America raising sons into something great. That doesn’t make it any less special to Ringo.
“My mother has helped me throughout all the way,” he said. “We’ve been by ourselves a lot of the way. I feel like it has been her determination to continue on and to help me grow throughout the process has really been a huge thing for me.”
It has been a lot of things: Her mood and example. The right advice. He felt she’s always been there with whatever he needed her to be.
The All-American Bowl will be a career milestone in several ways for the speedster. He will make his college decision known on Jan. 4 during the live NBC broadcast from out in Texas.
“That is the plan,” Ringo said. “My plan is to make my finish line the All-American Bowl.”
It just makes sense for him to do that then.
“It is honestly a huge weight lifter,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed this whole process, but with the coaches talking to me, people contacting me and all the interviews and everything. I feel like just being able to settle in is going to be a really huge thing for me. A big next chapter. A big next step in my life.”
Kelee Ringo: The things to know for the next few months
Ringo is a rare talent. He’s now up to 6 feet, 2 inches and 205 pounds right now at a program that has won the last six state championships for its classification in Arizona.
Congratulations @KeleeRingo on receiving your jersey to play in the prestigious @AABonNBC game! @saguarofootball is extremely proud of you and your name will now be added to the wall of great players who have made their mark at Saguaro 🙌 pic.twitter.com/LyAYBraLw7
— Jason Mohns (@CoachMohns) November 1, 2019
He’s incredibly fast for his size despite that big frame. Ringo clocked back-to-back 4.36 and 4.35 times in the 40 at the Rivals Five-Star Challenge “Fastest Man” competition back in Atlanta over the summer.
That athleticism carries over to the track during the spring. He will not enroll early as he has another spring in track to prepare for. Ringo said he set a goal last spring to go low in the 100.
“I achieved that with a 10.43,” he said. “I hope to go below that this year.”
His blend of size and speed along with the way he also plays the game bodes well for a very bright future in football.
“My ‘why’ is to honestly not have my kids or their kids worry about money or anything at all,” the soft-spoken All-American said. “I just want to make a legacy for my name and also for my family and to build a dynasty overall for Kelee Ringo and that last name.
Kelee Ringo: His thoughts on Georgia
He quickly took DawgNation through the ropes on several talking points of his recruitment.
- Ringo has taken his official visit to Oregon. He’s not sure of his trip at this time.
- Look for Ringo to grant officials to the remaining schools in his top 5. He said those would be to Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State and Texas.
- He hoped to visit Georgia this season for a game, but he has not been able to do so.
How does he feel about Georgia at this time?
“I’ve been there now I think four times,” he said. “I like the staff and the overall vibe over there. I’ve been to G-Day. It is kind of like a game vibe. I wanted to be able to get out to a game, but I wasn’t able to this year. I still might, but the only game visit I had came when I went to Oregon.”
“Overall Georgia always does good things over there. Coach Kirby Smart is a great coach. He was actually a ‘DB’ there himself. I like what he is doing with the program.”
When he closes his eyes and takes a minute to visualize what he thinks of a chance to play at UGA, he had a few things come readily to mind.
“When I go on my visits honestly there are things that would help me like more schools than others I guess you could say is my relationship with the coaches,” he said. “I feel like my visits could also determine that. With that, I feel like the more schools push for me then I can see that they have more interest for me.”
“I feel like what the school puts into me is what I feel they are going to give to me in my life at their school honestly.”
A few more things to know about Kelee Ringo
Ringo and his Sabrecats have won the last six state titles in Arizona, but they are in for a different test this postseason. Saguaro (Pronounced Su-wah-ro) will now play in an open division for the first time. Instead of simply being the best program in their classification and rolling through all comers, a different challenge awaits.
They will take on some of the best programs from all classifications in Arizona in an open division championship bracket. His team will be playing up.
“We’re 9-1 right now and we are about to go into an open division of playoffs,” he said. “That’s when every single division comes together in an 8-team playoff and then they go to one division and one champion basically. So like 4A schools will play 6A schools. A 5A school can play a school in another division. So that is going to be really good for that and for our team. That’s the first time Arizona has ever done it in history.”
What will the right school do over the next few months to earn and secure his college decision? He was able to rattle off a few core ingredients with that.
“Continue to stay in contact with me,” he said. “Continue to build a great relationship with me. When I go on my visits to a school like that, I will continue to just like that atmosphere out of all the schools. When I get to make my decision, it will be that school which just feels like home to me and that will be the deal-breaker. If I feel like home and if I feel like am I going to be able to live there.”
Ringo’s talent level at cornerback makes him pretty lonely on Friday nights. Opposing teams are smart to ignore his side of the field. That’s why Saguaro employs his skill set on offense too. It allows him to still make an impact on every game.
— NationalPrepStars (@NPrepStars) October 19, 2019