SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Suncoast native Richie James Jr., a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers, will be playing in Super Bowl 54 on Sunday.
James grew up in Sarasota and played his high school football career at Riverview High School. He is in his second season in the NFL.
“Richie was on the best players to come through Riverview High School,” Todd Johnson, the head coach when James played at Riverview said. Johnson is now an assistant coach at the school.
“Not only for his playing ability but for his character; and how he handled himself on the field and in the classroom and every day life,” Johnson said.
James played wide receiver at Riverview until his junior year when he was switched to quarterback. He went on to play college football for the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders. After that, James was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 2018 in the 7th round of the NFL Draft.
Johnson said that he still keeps in touch with James and even spoke with him during Super Bowl Week. “He probably doesn’t need my advice, but he listens," Johnson said. “He just has just a good mindset knows the direction he wants to go in his life. And it’s not gonna let anything get in his way.”
Johnson said that James really left his mark at Riverview High School. “The type of guy that he was he always treated people right," Johnson said. "He always went about his business the right way. Teachers teammates administration teachers everyone loves Richie James. We’re blessed that he was a ram and is a ram legend.”
Johnson said that the Riverview family will cheering James on during the 54th edition of the Super Bowl.