2024 LB: Alex Rios (VA)
Alex Rios, a promising linebacker from Catholic High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, has been making waves in high school football. Starting as a versatile player on JV and Varsity at Kellam High School, he made the decision to transfer to Catholic due to in-person academics during the COVID-19 pandemic. This move proved pivotal as Rios switched positions from Defensive End to Middle/Outside Linebacker, transforming his game under the guidance of Coach Marcus.
Describing his playing style, Rios boasts a high motor and an unwavering pursuit of the football. His ability to read plays by analyzing opponents' setups sets him apart, and he not only thrives on being coached but also coaches his teammates. Despite garnering interest from colleges such as NSU, ODU, and Fordham, Rios is yet to receive an offer. Academic excellence holds great importance to him when considering his college football options.
The recruitment journey has been a roller coaster for Rios, with moments of high interest followed by periods of silence. However, as camp season approaches, communication is picking up, and he remains optimistic, believing that time will reveal his ultimate destination. Managing academics and athletics at Catholic, a college prep school, has posed challenges for Rios, but he and his teammates are driven to be the best they can be.
Rios acknowledges the influential figures who have shaped him as a football player and person. Teammates like Kemari Copeland, mentors such as Joey Kagel, and coaches including Coach Marcus Shell, Coach Harlow, and Anthony Stringfield, along with his parents, have all played pivotal roles in his development. They have provided guidance during his lowest moments and helped him become the best version of himself.
Overcoming personal challenges, Rios reveals that football was a positive force during his freshman year when he battled heavy depression. It served as a motivating factor, keeping him moving forward. Supported by a loving community, Rios recognizes the importance of those who count on him and love him, even on days when he faces adversity.
Looking ahead to his final high school football season, Rios aspires to leave a lasting legacy at Catholic. He aims to be known not only for his impressive stats but also for his leadership qualities and positive personality. Setting ambitious goals for himself, he intends to achieve over 100 tackles, 4+ sacks, 10 Pass Breakups (PBUs), and 8+ forced fumbles, displaying confidence in his skills and the collective strength of his team.
Beyond football, Rios has aspirations of becoming a nurse, drawn to the profession by his innate desire to help others. Additionally, he finds joy in drawing and playing music during his free time, regularly sharing his creations with friends and family. Rios exemplifies a well-rounded individual with a passion for making a difference in the lives of others, both on and off the field.