RECRUITING: Richard looking, but UF is still #1

There was a time when there was no doubt where Sunrise (FL) Piper defensive end Vladmir Richard was going to be playing football in 2005. He was a summertime commitment to the Florida Gators after wowing coaches at the UF camp with his quick first step that makes him a terror of a pass rusher.

While Vladimir Richard hasn't backed off his commitment to the Gators, he's taking long, hard looks at some other schools since the firing of Coach Ron Zook and his staff. In particular, Richard was hurt by the loss of linebackers Coach Bill Miller, the coach who had recruited him all along. He says that he still has good feelings about Florida, but it's just not the same.

"Its good," he said of his view of Florida, "but I was really close to Bill. He came out and told me the truth and not what I just wanted to hear. I was really hoping that Bill could stay, but we will just have to see how it turns out."

Since Miller is no longer recruiting him, he's maintained contact with the Florida staff through Coach Charlie Strong and Coach Mike Locksley. He's had ongoing conversations with them, plus they visited him in-home, noting that the visit "went pretty good" and that "they just talked saying everything is going to be the same down there."

Meanwhile, he is keeping an eye on Georgia, Tennessee and Auburn. All three are recruiting him hard;

"I already visited Tennessee and NC State," he said.

He's in the process of scheduling more visits, but insists that Florida is still the place he wants to go to school.

Richard is an outstanding defensive end who can be a standout pass rusher at the next level. His comments indicate that he likes Florida but is waiting for someone on the Florida staff to regain the confidence he lost when Coach Urban Meyer didn't retain Miller. It sounds like he's waiting on a personal call from Meyer to affirm Florida's commitment to him.

Fightin Gators Top Stories