By KEVIN HARRIS
Jeffersonville High School senior Ricky Embry will get a chance to play against some of the best senior football players in the country later on this month.
The Red Devil wide receiver has been selected to participate in the National Underclassmen Combine All-American Game on Saturday, Dec. 22 in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
He is one of 100 seniors across the United States who will be playing in the contest. The 100 players will be divided into two teams, which will be the North and the South.
“It’s a blessing because not a lot of kids get a shot to play in a game like this,” Embry said in a phone interview on Monday evening.
Jeff football coach Lonnie Oldham said Embry is very deserving to be getting the opportunity to play in the All-America game.
“He had a great year at Jeffersonville,” Oldham said. “He’s one of the best receivers we’ve had in a while. He works hard and he’s a good kid.”
The game will cap off a series of activities in conjunction with the contest from Dec. 18-22. Embry, who plans to arrive in Myrtle Beach on Sunday, Dec. 16, will participate in two days of practice, some seven-on-seven drills and a skills competition.
As for high school underclassmen, there will be scrimmages for freshmen, sophomores and juniors throughout America during the week along with a game for eighth-graders.
The NUC All-American Game will give Embry a chance to showcase his skills to several college coaches who are planning to be in attendance. Some coaches will be from NCAA Division I and Division II schools.
Embry hopes playing in the game will influence several schools to offer him a scholarship to continue his football career.
“I think it will help me a lot,” Embry said. “It helps me as far as exposure.”
Oldham hopes Embry will catch the eye of several college coaches in Myrtle Beach.
“I hope the game helps him get more exposure. I think he can play in the [Mid-American Conference],” Oldham said.
Embry says he has already talked to several Division I colleges like Indiana State, Western Kentucky, Colorado, Colorado State, Illinois State, Southern Illinois and Louisville. He also has been getting interest from several small schools, especially 2012 NCAA Division III playoff participant Franklin College.
The 2012 campaign was a record-setting season for Embry. He broke the school’s single-season reception record with 52 and the single-season receiving yards mark with 909. He also set the single-season record for touchdown receptions with 14.
“He catches nearly everything that’s thrown at him. He’s got great hands,” Oldham said.
In 2012, Embry made the all-Hoosier Hills Conference team and a first-team selection on the News and Tribune All-Area team.
Despite the records, Embry and the Red Devils came up short of winning Class 5A Sectional 8. They lost in the sectional final to Castle on Nov. 2, 50-29.
“It didn’t end quite the way I wanted it to,” Embry said. “But I just worked hard to achieve what I did achieve.”