Stanford’s first 2020 offer went to one of the fastest rising recruits in that young class, Southlake Carroll’s RJ Mickens. The offer came as a surprise to the Texas defensive back after his second trip to The Farm in two months.
Mickens showed the Stanford coaches his physical skills during the July 28 Friday Night Lights camp. The second visit was an opportunity to watch Stanford play UCLA and build on his relationship with coaches.
It ended up being a very memorable experience.
“I had no clue I was going to be offered,” Mickens said. “I knew Coach (Duane) Akina really well. I knew he saw a lot in me from the camp and being up there twice I was really tight with him. I wasn’t anticipating an offer, though. I was shocked by it.
— Rj Mickens (@RjMickens10) September 24, 2017
He said it “means a lot” to be the first offer in his class.
Mickens has earned offers from across the country since he worked his way to be a freshman starter at cornerback at one of the most prestigious high school programs in Texas.
Southlake Carroll head coach Hal Wasson knows how careful Stanford is about putting out offers because current redshirt freshman Obi Eboh played for his program.
“Obviously it’s an outstanding offer to RJ, who is very deserving not only athletically but notably academically as well,” he said. “It’s one that I’m sure he’s really excited about and obviously should be excited because it’s a great program and great university. We’re excited for him.”
Mickens has developed into an impact player as a sophomore and is on the field at safety, corner and even wide receiver.
“He’s a very intuitive and instinctive player,” Wasson said. “His dad (Ray) was a great player at Texas A&M and, of course, with the Jets. And obviously he has done a lot of instruction with him, which makes our job easier, no doubt. He’s very confident and has tremendous ball skills. I think as a DB if you have great instincts and great ball skills those are great compliments to a player.
“Of course, he started for us as a true freshman, which at a spot like corner is really remarkable. He has confidence and maturity from being around football all his life.”
With more than two years until he steps onto a college campus there isn’t a rush to pick a position to play at the next level. And Mickens is focused on learning more about the colleges he’s interested in, which is why a second trip to Stanford helped him feel more comfortable there.
Mickens was able to spend time with Eboh and several other recruits visiting from Texas, especially 2019 defensive backs Jonathan McGill and Brian Williams, who both have Stanford offers.