"Big Cat" Recruit Picks Tigers and Chizik

One of the state of Alabama's most talented prospects tells Inside the Auburn Tigers why he wants to play for Coach Gene Chizik's football team.

Birmingham, Ala.--Tall and talented wide receiver Jeremy Richardson said on Friday that he will sign a scholarship to play college football for Coach Gene Chizik's Auburn Tigers.

Richardson told Inside the Auburn Tigers he is finished with recruiting and will play for Auburn, which he noted has always been his favorite college.

The 6-4, 220-pounder from Springville High School earned first team Class 5A All-State honors as a junior after he caught 61 passes for 1,228 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Richardson made his announcement at UAB Hospital where he was visiting his grandfather, cancer patient Sammy Newsome, who the wide receiver says is a big Auburn fan.

"I thought about it for a long time, but when I went to the Big Cat Weekend I just sat in the car just thinking about it, thinking about what all of the other players were saying. Right then and there I said this is where I want to go."

The wide receiver says he is expected about playing for Auburn's new coaching staff and head coach Chizik.

"Coach Chizik is a real good guy," Richardson says. "Everytime I go down there I see him all of the time. I have talked to him at least 10 times. Usually the head coach, you don't see them, but he always comes up and shakes my hand. He talks to me and I talk to him.

"I remember him from the 2004 season when they won the championship so I was real familiar with him," the receiver adds. "Now he is the head coach so that's a good thing. He said he was going to try to bring back the tradition and win another championship. That sounds real good to me."

Richardson, who chose the Tigers over Alabama, LSU, Tennessee and others, said he came away feeling particularly good about Auburn after spending time with Chizik and his coaching staff last Saturday at Auburn's Big Cat Weekend, an event that attracted Richardson and other highly regarded rising seniors.

Commenting on why he picked Auburn, Richardson said, "The family atmosphere and great academics."

Jeremy Richardson

He noted that Auburn's coaches have told him they see him as a receiver who can make an impact on the offense. "They talk about it every time I come down there," he said. "They said I'd be a deep threat man."

Richardson said he hasn't been clocked in the 40-yard dash lately, but notes he was clocked in the 4.4s at a football camp last summer.

Commenting on his strengths as a player, the wide receiver said, "I'm fast. I've got some moves, but I'm bigger than most cornerbacks and safeties. With my weight and my height, I can run people over. If I had to compare myself to anyone in the NFL it'd probably be T.O. (Terrell Owens) or Larry Fitzgerald."

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