Rickey Backstrom is a dual threat senior for Oklahoma Panhandle State University — he plays wide receiver on offense and cornerback on defense. I recently had the pleasure of interviewing him on his football background and his aspirations in the sport.
Alex: Rickey, thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. To start off, when did you first fall in love with playing football?
Rickey Backstrom: First fell in love with playing football was my freshman year of high school. Wasn’t able to play as a kid due to the fact my father got me into boxing.
A: Who was your role model in football when you were growing up, and who was your role model outside of the sport during your childhood?
RB: My role model was Brett Farve. I always wanted to play QB but God had different plans for me and I ended up playing WR/SS/CB in high school and WR/CB in college. My role model outside of football was definitely my father. He has always pushed me to do better and never give up on anything in life, and his lessons has gotten me where I am today.
A: What’s the most inspirational or powerful thing a coach has ever said to you?
RB: Defensive coordinator in high school once told me “I have the ability, skill set, and smarts to do anything I want whether it be football or in life. Never let anyone tell you, you can’t. If someone ever tell you that smile say thank you and prove them wrong.” That saying has stuck with me since high school and I continue to prove people whom doubted me wrong.
A: Why choose Oklahoma Panhandle State University?
RB: When I went on my visit to OPSU I felt welcomed. I wanted to be apart of a family and that’s what OPSU is, a family that’s going to continue to build.
What was your favorite moment or play at OPSU?
RB: Favorite moment was September 19, 2015 when we defeated Langston at our home field. Best feeling ever all the seniors and I have been waiting on that moment for too long and we finally did it.
Who in the NFL do you see as a role model for what you want to accomplish in football, and why?
RB: I see Eric Berry as a role model right now. Why? He has shown that through prayer and God that anything is possible to achieve. Coming back from cancer is the ultimate thing to overcome and that should be an inspiration to everyone, to never give up.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
RB: If I’m not in either NFL, CFL, or Arena, I see my self doing what I love which happens to be becoming an state trooper for California and working my way up to a task force agency.
And to close, what’s the most important thing about you off the field that makes you a better player on the field?
RB: My work ethic and dedication to get something done whether it has something to do with football school or in life, meaning getting prepared for my career if football doesn’t work out for me.
Locker Room Update would like to thank Rickey Backstrom for taking the time to speak with us. We wish him the best of luck as he continues his journey as an NFL 2016 draft prospect.