Humble Prospect Never Knew He Had The Skills

This big defensive football prospect from the Peach State talks about his junior season and the recruiting process.

Atlanta,Ga.--Morrice Richardson is a 6-3, 228-pound defensive end and linebacker with speed in the upper 4.5 range, who is starting to receive serious recruiting attention from big time programs.

However, the very humble senior says that he never really believed that he had the skills to play the game at such a high level. "I always wanted to go to college, but I never considered myself to be a D-I player or to play at a big university," Richardson explains. "I kind of just wanted to go to college to get an education, but now I see that colleges like the way I am playing.

"My coaches have always told me since the ninth grade that I was going to be an SEC or ACC player, but I never thought that because it is hard to see what you are doing," he adds. "You know, you have got to wait for somebody else to tell you and I didn't believe it, but it turned out to be true."

Even if he didn't believe that he had the skills to play in the SEC or ACC, some coaches from programs in those conferences already think that Richardson will be able to handle the task once he finishes his senior season at Westlake High School.

"I have scholarship offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech and Ole Miss," the talented defender notes. "Hopefully--I am expecting one from Auburn. I just sent them my highlight tape. (Auburn defensive ends coach) Coach (Terry) Price wanted me to call him earlier this week and I called him, but I didn't get in contact with him so I will probably call him soon and talk to him and see what he thinks."

Along with his current offers, Richardson says that he would like to take a look at a number of other colleges as well. "I consider it a real blessing for any school to be interested in me and to offer me a chance to get an education, so any school that is interested in me I am interested in them," he explains. "But, the schools that I would be more so interested in would be Georgia, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Virginia Tech and USC, schools like that that have a good tradition and good academics."

The upcoming senior is garnering attention from college recruiters because of his size, speed and his strong efforts on the field as a junior, even though the always-humble Richardson says he was not very happy with his performance last season.

"My junior season was kind of rocky," he notes. "It was kind of a rebuilding season. We only had like six or seven seniors that really contributed and the rest were sophomores and juniors such as myself. My stats, they were mediocre. They were not really where I wanted them. I had roughly between 85-100 tackles, somewhere between six and eight sacks, two or three forced fumbles and I had a lot of tackles for loss."

Richardson, who says that he enjoys things about both of the positions that he plays, adds, however, that a lot more of his work has been on the defensive line the last two seasons. "I played defensive end a little more than linebacker," he explains. "It was mainly because that was what was best for the team.

"That started last year because I started in ninth grade as a linebacker and in the 10th grade we had a linebacker transfer in from Banneker, who was really good, but he couldn't play defensive end," he continues. "We needed a defensive end and we needed all the talent we could have on the field so they decided to put me down at the end and keep him at linebacker. So, moving into this year we didn't have any other size or experience from anyone else to play defensive end, but we had some guys that could play linebacker so they kind of kept me down there this year."

Morrice Richardson

Along with his team-oriented attitude, Richardson says there are a few other skills that he thinks help him elevate his game. "I would say my leadership skills are number one and number two is that I have a nose for the ball," he says about his best attributes. "I can find the ball really easily and I can read and pick up different offensive schemes and just my overall knack for what is going on in the game."

However, he adds that he still has plenty of things that he wants to work on before he takes the field for his final season as a high school player. "I definitely want to work on my speed, my strength and my agility," he notes. "I want to work on getting to know the game better because you can never know the game enough. You have got to keep on learning."

On top of his hard work on the football field, Richardson also competes on the Westlake wrestling and track teams and swims competitively for an Atlanta area recreation department team.

Richardson says that even though swimming and wrestling may seem like odd sports for a football player to be competing in he thinks they are both beneficial. "You require every muscle in the body to swim and it is good for endurance," he explains. "Wrestling comes into play because it deals with your overall aggression, heart, it helps you keep your leverage and it's good for tackling.

"In wresting you have got to learn a lot of takedown moves and stuff, so in football if a guy gets by me and I have him by the leg I can use a wrestling move to drag him down. Also, if I'm going against a lineman and he's holding me I can use a wrestling move to escape."

The talented defender, who says that he would like to take a good look at every college that he is interested in, notes that he has already been able to get started on that task this spring with a few trips to college campuses, including one to Auburn for the Tigers' annual A-Day game.

"I know that Auburn has a heck of a football team," he says. "Auburn also has a really nice fan base and it is kind of a family environment. I went down to their A-Day and the town bleeds orange and blue and it is strictly a good fan base there. I have a friend that I played against, (Tigers' redshirt freshman safety) Tristan Davis, who I played against him my sophomore year when we played Tri-Cities. I also played against (Tigers' redshirt freshman quarterback) Calvin Booker when I played against Mays."

Along with his trip to the Plains, Richardson adds that he has already been able to visit other campuses. "One of the schools that I check out the most is Georgia Tech because it is right around the corner from me," he notes. "Also Georgia, but the only three schools I have really checked out are Georgia, Georgia Tech and Auburn, but I look forward to checking out schools like Florida, Florida State, USC, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Ohio State and Oklahoma and schools like that, in the near future, probably during the summer."

Another interesting note about Richardson is that his cousin Asher Allen, who made the trip with Richardson for A-Day, is also a big-time recruit in the state of Georgia for the class of 2006.

And the talented defender notes he really enjoys spending time with his cousin, who is the star running back for the Tucker High Tigers. "I see Asher at least twice every month," Richardson explains. "Yeah, I really like being able to go through this process with him because it gives you someone to talk to.

"I hate to say this, but sometimes when you talk to people that don't necessarily have what you have they may take it in the wrong way," he continues. "They may say that you are trying to flaunt or you are trying to flash and they may be envious toward you and try to act a certain way toward you. But, Asher and myself we are going through the same things and we can be ourselves around each other. Around him I can say this is my favorite part about my game and I can talk about myself and he can talk about himself."

Richardson also notes that having the chance to play on the same team at the college level is something that they would love to do. "We have always wanted to play together, but we understand that something like that might not happen because one school may fit his needs better than that school will fit mine," he notes. "So, then we might have to go our separate ways, but we are still going to be close."

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