By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Ritchey signs with University of West Georgia
Placeholder Image

Let's face it - offensive linemen don't get nearly enough credit they deserve.

Of course, that proved to be the case Sunday after New England's Tom Brady was sacked five times in a 17-14 loss to the New York Giants during Super Bowl XLII.

However, on Wednesday's National Signing Day, Eastside senior offensive lineman Jordan Ritchey received the ultimate recognition - a full scholarship to play football at the University of West Georgia.

"We're excited about having a member of the Eastside and Covington community join our football program," said West Georgia coach Daryl Dickey.

Besides parents Don and Paige Ritchey, none could be more proud than Eastside head coach Rick Hurst.

According to Hurst, it will be Ritchey's work ethic and attitude he'll miss most next year.

"Last season Jordan really turned it on," said Hurst, "and I thought he had a great year. He definitely anchored our offensive line. When you've got four seniors up there, you expect to be pretty good, but he brought another dimension."

Hurst refers to Ritchey's ability to come off the ball as hard as he does, getting after opponents like no one else.

"I'm real excited," smiled Ritchey. "I get to carry football on a bit more and finish my school out a little bit cheaper."

Ritchey, a three-year starter, finished his senior campaign with an 83 percent average grade. In addition, he had 26 pancake blocks.

"I just want to get a whole lot better than I am," said Ritchey, "and come out with a good education, graduate on time and have fun playing football, too."

Last season he graded out each week, meaning Ritchey registered 80 percent or higher after each game. (For Eastside, the winning percentage on the offensive side is 80 percent.)

"It's kind of hard to beat that," said Hurst.

Hurst feels that Ritchey's best football still awaits him, which is what he told the coaches at West Georgia.

"They're really desperate for offensive linemen," said Hurst, "and I think he's going to fit right in. I think they see he can play right away, and it was obviously attractive to him."

More than likely Ritchey will play tackle, his primary position, or guard.

"Obviously, Eastside High School and their ties with the University of West Georgia was something that excited us a lot," said Dickey regarding what initially led to the signing of Ritchey.

Besides his friends, Ritchey will miss his coaches above anything else.

"They really came in here and turned the program all the way around," acknowledged Ritchey. "That's really what it is, (and) it's special to be a part of that."

In general, Dickey thinks Ritchey and the rest of his class will be a great addition to the West Georgia football program.

"We're excited about them being the foundation that's going to help us get the program in the right direction again," he said.

For Eastside, it will be tough to replace such an immense presence on the gridiron.

"Our goal every year is to replace the guys that we've lost," admitted Hurst, "but he's got some big shoes to fill."