Ricky Person Jr has had an interesting path to his current team. First signed with the Indoor Football League’s Massachusetts Pirates who also once had DB Lukas Dennis on their roster before he played in the XFL and now the NFL. The Pirates have watched it happen again. This time Ricky Person needed two seasons to find his NFL interest and it came only after a 100-yard performance in the UFL Championship game on Sunday

Seattle Leans Toward Bigger Running Backs 

The Seattle Seahawks for years have seemed to prefer larger running backs. Your Marshawn Lynch’s, Chris Carson’s, Rashaad Penny’s of the world. You can now add Ricky Person’s name to that list. Seattle might have a new head coach but their taste in running backs hasn’t changed. 

Person stands 6’1 220 pounds, and upon entering the 2022 NFL Draft Class he participated in a pro day putting up solid but not spectacular numbers. This didn’t do him any favors with his draft stock after splitting carries most of his time with NC State. 

Stuck in a Dreaded RBC 

During his time with NC State, he played in 40 games over four years collecting 455 Carrie’s for 1979 yards, 4.3 yards per carry, and 14 touchdowns. He displayed decent hands catching 57 passes for 482 yards and 4 touchdowns. 

He didn’t stop there, He also attempted two passes for 2 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception, returned 4 kicks for 95 yards, and logged 8 tackles on special teams. He showed he is as valuable as it gets for a bigger back. 

Competition Brings Out the Best in Everyone 

Seattle currently has three draft picks as their top backs with three college free agents and Person Jr. competing for reps. They also have Laviska Schenault who has carried the ball a lot during his career and is at home as a running back as he is at wide receiver. 

This will not be an easy road but there is a chance for Person to make this team. Kenny McIntosh may have been a draft pick by Seattle but being drafted in round 7 doesn’t guarantee you a roster spot over anyone. 

It doesn’t help anything that McIntosh spent the majority of his rookie year on injured reserve. He returned in November but didn’t log any statistics. He is essentially no more entrenched than the four backs he will compete against in camp, and Ricky Person Jr. is coming into camp in game shape which could prove to be an advantage. 

Professional Production 

In his short professional career he has managed a total of;

Pirates: 4 games 9 carries for 23 yards, returned 2 kicks for 26 yards, and 6.5 tackles. 

Stallions: 13 games 107 carries 380 yards 7 touchdowns, 13 receptions for 122 yards, 3 kick returns for 54yards, and 6 tackles. 

Despite splitting carries with CJ Marable, and dealing with injuries he still managed to lead the league with rushing touchdowns. With Person and Marable finishing 7th and 8th in rushing yards. 

He showed his value in many ways that don’t appear on the stat sheet, he was one of the best pass blockers in the backfield over the last two seasons according to PFF.com. One thing that hasn’t been discussed much is his ability to run block as well. He graded favorably on 32 snaps as a run blocker and could in theory be used as a fullback if needed. Long story short, Person Jr. can do it all. 

Special Teams Ace

If one thing sticks out about Person it’s his play on special teams units. Not only does he have 21 career tackles, he has returned 9 kicks for 175 yards. He played a total of 204 special teams snaps over the past two seasons including snaps on kickoff return, punt return, kickoff coverage, and punt coverage. 

He hasn’t been used on field goal units as of yet but with his size I wouldn’t put it past a team to try him as a blocker, or on the edge attempting to block kicks. He even lined up in-line similar to a tight end at one point this season. During the 2024 season, he was credited with 4 missed tackles, but still graded out 60 or better in five total games, topping 70 in two games. This could be exactly what earns him a roster spot. Sometimes all it takes is one big special teams play to change an entire career just ask Terrell Davis. 

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Sam Just

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