They were just boys playing for the Westside Cubs in the Detroit Police Athletic League when Terry Richardson, James Ross and Royce Jenkins-Stone started dreaming of playing football in college.
“Me, Royce and Ross we all grew up together,” Richardson said. “We were playing for the Cubs since we were eight, nine years old. We always played together on the Cubs. We built a nice friendship that’s going carry on for life.”
Jenkins-Stone and Ross also said it was a great experience.
“We were always watching college football games together and talk about wanting to be there some day,” said Ross.
Jenkins-Stone remembers the success they had.
“We made it to the championship, but we lost,” he said.
Ironically, the trio would become close with a member of the team that beat them in the title game.
“I was on the Giants and they were on the Cubs,” Laron Taylor said. “We ended up beating them in the championship game by one point off a field goal.”
Taylor, who joined Richardson and Jenkins-Stone at Cass Tech High School, still reminds his current teammates of when they were competitors.
“Yeah, he still teases us,” said Jenkins-Stone. “He’s got a little bragging rights.”
“That always sticks in their minds,” Taylor said. “I’ll be playing with them all of the time about it.”
While Taylor teamed up with Richardson and Jenkins-Stone in high school, Ross went off to St. Mary’s Prep in Orchard Lake.
“I played with them for about 10 years,” Ross said of Richardson and Jenkins-Stone. “It was just different not going to the practices together or riding together in the car. But I still work out with Terry every day. We’re very close. That’s about the closest friend I have. We talk about the recruiting situations and just thanking God that we made it this far.”
Indeed, the young boys have grown into young adults receiving attention from colleges across the country. Ross, Jenkins-Stone and Taylor all play linebacker while Richardson is one of the top rated cornerbacks in the class of 2012.
All four are being recruited by Notre Dame along with a host of others. Richardson and Ross each picked up Irish offers earlier this week.
They understand how unlikely it is that all of them will play together in college, but they are at least considering it.
“When we were little, we wanted to play together, but we know how difficult that may be,” said Ross. “If it works out, it does and that would be great, but we probably won’t make our decisions based off what somebody else does.”
“It would be good for us to go to the same school again and play together, but I don’t where their hearts are yet and I don’t know what I want to do yet,” he said. “I’m still waiting on some more offers before I can make my decision.”
Taylor has enjoyed his time at Cass Tech and would like to continue it at the next level.
“It’d be great to play with them guys in college,” he said. “It’s great to playing with them now. They get me better every day. They push me, we push each other.”
Each has plenty of options and even if they aren’t able to stick together, all four are close to accomplishing a dream first thought of a long time ago.
“The time is coming that we’re being able to achieve the goal,” said Ross. “It seemed like so long ago that we wanted to play college football and it’s just great to see that goal soon to be accomplished.”