Richmond takes in fall scrimmage

Drew Richmond is one of the more coveted prospects in the class of 2015 among offensive linemen, with Alabama offering early in the process. The rising junior checked out Tuscaloosa for just the second time on Saturday and came away impressed with what he saw.

Drew Richmond had been to Alabama before Saturday, but two major pieces of the Saturday experience weren't available then. The new facilities and the ability to check out the 2013 version of the Crimson Tide as they took part in a fall scrimmage.

"They looked good," he said shortly after leaving town.

The 6-foot-5, 305-pounder kept his eyes on the offensive line for the most part, but it was hard for him not to notice the skill guys on offense.

"Their backs are serious. Derrick Henry, T.J. Yeldon and [Tyren] Jones," he said. "Amari Cooper ripped off three touchdowns in a row. The cornerback or other DB had him wrapped up and he spinned off him for one score. Another one he ran right passed him…I was like wow."

But when Richmond took a closer look at his fellow trench standouts, he was just as impressed.

"I was watching the O-line, they have some nice feet and were moving well," he added. "I wanted to see Cyrus [Kuandjo], he balled out!

"He's really physical and a really good athlete."

Before the time he spent in Bryant-Denney Stadium, the Memphis (Tenn.) University school offensive tackle prospect got to see what the hype was all about with the new football facilities.

"I saw the new facilities. I mean, it's unbelievable," he said. "The locker room`s crazy, the games, all of that. I heard about it, but just seeing it, everything about it was good."

Mixed in earlier in the day was the chance to speak to several members of Alabama's staff.

"I talked to Coach [Mario] Cristobal, [Billy] Napier and [Nick] Saban," he recalled. "They just told me I could be a vital part of the team and to keep getting better. Cristobal and Saban were telling me they're guard heavy right now, they don't have many tackles so there's a chance I can contribute early on. "

The chance to play sooner than later, especially at Alabama, could be big in the recruitment of Richmond.

"It matters a lot," he admitted. "I feel like when I get to that level I'll be physically ready. When I go through my program's training and the college weight program, I should be ready.

"I have been working on my hands, my feet, finishing blocks and stuff like that. There's always room to get better."

Another thing that may aid in improvement is competition. The state of Tennessee yields a few top defensive talents as well and one of the best, Charles Mosley, was also in Tuscaloosa for an unofficial visit.

The two 300-plus pounders have known each other for a handful of years.

"We do, we played AAU basketball together," said Richmond. "I wasn't as big, he always has been big. Basketball was my sport back in the seventh grade, though he may have been better.

"We're boys, I hope we can play together but we are both making our own plans. I have my mind set on one thing, he has his mind set on his thing."

Richmond, despite admitting that he and Mosley talked about playing at Alabama on Saturday, is still in the very early stages of his recruitment.

"I'm still looking through a couple of schools, so next year around this time I'll be thinking about a certain group of schools," he said. "We'll just see. I'm waiting for Notre Dame and Texas, Texas has been in contact a little."

Richmond's view of the Crimson Tide was not changed during his time on campus.

"They are winners, if you go there you know you'll be coached well, " he said. "I've always had a high view of them. "

In the meantime, the elite class of 2015 prospect is focused on competing with some of the Volunteer State's best high school programs this fall.

"I really want a state championship," said Richmond. "I feel like we have a good chance of winning it, (Nashville) Ensworth and Brentwood (Academy) lost some key pieces, so they're fighting like we are."


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