Richard Hendrix: Top Three

Athens High (Ala.) 6-8 1/2, 250-pound junior Richard Hendrix has one clear leader and two other schools that have established themselves as true players in his recruitment. Other than that, it'll be awfully tough for anyone else to get in the top 3.

Richard Hendrix didn't exactly finish out his junior season as he would have liked, so those who go up against him during the spring and summer could have a highly motivated power forward on their hands.

Hendrix and his Athens High (Ala.) squad lost to Butler High in the Class 5A state title game – it was the second time Hendrix and his coach/father, Venard, came up short against Butler. The team's only other loss all season was to Murrah High (Miss.).

However, that's not to say that it was a completely unsatisfying junior campaign for Hendrix.

``I have a lot more confidence in my outside shooting and my ballhandling," Hendrix said. "I know I was capable of doing it, but this year I just found some more confidence. It wasn't like I took a ton of outside shots, but definitely more than I ever had."

Let's be honest. The 6-9, 250-pound Hendrix does most of his work in the paint. He can score in the low-post, rebound and just provides a tough, hard-nosed inside presence on both ends of the floor.

``I know that's what my strength is and I don't want to get away from what's worked," he added.

Hendrix also found time during the season to take numerous unofficial trips, including a jaunt to North Carolina where he got a chance to see North Carolina, Duke and N.C. State. He also visited Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn and Florida State.

But three schools have emerged.

Alabama, North Carolina and Tennessee.

``Those are the three schools that are the most interested that I'm liking also," Hendrix said.

The smart money is definitely on the Crimson Tide (even Hendrix admits that Alabama will be tough to beat), but the Tar Heels and Vols still have a shot at landing the soft-spoken, coachable big man.

``I just want to take a few officials before I make a decision just to see what it's like," Hendrix said. "I'm hoping to get a couple of them done by the end of the school year."

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