Before Kelee Ringo was presented his honorary All-American Bowl jersey Friday morning in front Scottsdale Saguaro teammates, coach Jason Mohns shared a story about Ringo’s first workout.
It was early morning, the middle of July, heading into Ringo’s sophomore year. Ringo had just moved from Washington state to live with his mom in Scottsdale.
He found the Saguaro football team working out on the baseball field. It was really hot, and the humidity was high with the monsoon season kicking in.
“For us, it wasn’t that bad,” Mohns said. “For Kelee, it was a total climate culture shock. We were running hard, and Kelee looked about 30 minutes into practice like he was ready to get back on the plane and go back to Washington.”
Ringo, who played running back in junior high and as a freshman in Washington, came out to be a wide receiver for the Sabercats. Mohns and defensive backs coach Bryant Westbrook had other plans for Kelee.
“We were kind of thin at corner,” Mohns said. “We kind of saw the way he moved, his length, and obviously his speed. We kind of pegged him right off the bat, ‘This kid, if he puts his mind to it, he could be a world-class corner.”
He trusted Mohns and the process and now, at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, Ringo is rated the nation’s No 1 corner and sixth-best prospect overall by 247Sports Composite, a 5-star, who appears on track to the NFL.
Mohns felt Ringo could wind up as the top high school cornerback in the country.
“Honestly, I didn’t believe that at first,” Ringo said. “I knew I could get better. To have that opportunity, I appreciate that.”
Ringo, who will join Pinnacle offensive tackle Tosh Baker and Tucson Salpointe Catholic running back Bijan Robinson and safety Lathan Ransom in San Antonio on Jan. 4 for the NBC-televised All-American Bowl, was clocked at the Rivals 5-Star Challenge camp in Atlanta in June at 4.35 seconds.
He ran 100 meters last track season in 10.4 seconds.
He said he will announce his college choice during the All-American Bowl game on Jan. 4. It is down to five: Texas, Oregon, Georgia, Ohio State and Alabama.
His ultimate goal?
“I think about the NFL a lot,” Ringo said. “That’s been my main goal ever since I started playing football.”
Saguaro has become an assembly line producing NFL players.
Three former Saguaro players are now Arizona Cardinals teammates: wide receiver Christian Kirk, cornerback Byron Murphy and running back D.J. Foster.