Jereme Richmond Faithful And Committed
Jereme Richmond is a five-star 6-6 sophomore from Waukegan, (IL) and, from an early age, is getting a good taste of what it's like to be the "star." He understands that being surrounded by other good players is an advantage for everybody and that's why he's very glad to join forces with a new cast of talented athletes.
We caught up with Jereme and his father Bill, for a Q and A interview with them both.
Bill, how is Jereme handling all this media attention at such a young age?
Right now, when he can, it's important for Jereme to get to know his teammates, bond with them, and enjoy things.
When the opportunity presented itself, with Jereme getting a chance to play with the guys during the summer, how do you think he held up?
I haven't really had the chance to see too much, but he holds his own and is definitely encouraged by them.
Jereme knows he will need to get stronger and work on his game to take that next step, so what is he doing to get ready for the high school season and to take that next step?
Well, Coach Ashlaw is really working hard with his team and working a lot on conditioning. I don't think they have even bounced a basketball, right now it's all about conditioning.
Has there been extra pressure because he committed so early in his career?
No, I don't think it is added extra pressure at all. If anything, it's healthy competition he still has a lot of work to do.
As you can tell, Jereme doesn't seem to feel the pressure of being a future star at Illinois. "I don't think there's any pressure, part of a commitment is sticking to it and that's what a commitment means to me. I like the U of I, I'm solid and there's no pressure for me. Right now, I'm really focused on getting better, my conditioning and getting to play with my teammates at Waukegan," said Jereme.
Because of the recent verbal commitments, it's natural to wonder how much contact the four future Illini have had with each other. "I haven't talked with Joseph [Bertrand] or Brandon [Paul] that much, but D.J. [Richardson] was definitely always on my phone or always on MySpace, consistently talking about making this program something special. But as far as talking, yes, I've definitely been in their ears a lot. But I really couldn't tell if D.J. was coming to Illinois or not. With D.J. being the kind of player he is, he obviously had a lot of other schools looking at him. And on top of that, he was kind of being secretive about where he was going, so I really didn't know. But at the same time, I kind of figured it out because he and I like playing together," said Jereme.
Don't think for one second that Jereme and D.J. will stop here. Jereme wants others to come aboard. "D.J. and I see eye-to-eye, so I think both of us have to take roles in getting people to join this kind of movement. I think D.J. and I have to get more players to join this. By having the players commit now, it should definitely ease some of the criticism coming the way of Coach Weber. Right now, it's just nice to know who I'll be playing with and that the ones coming here have talent. So it is definitely exciting to look down the road to see what kind of potential we have," Jereme said. With these two recruits, and current freshman Demetri McCamey, pushing others to join, things are certainly looking up.
The future certainly is looking bright in Champaign for both basketball and football. The key to any good college program is getting high quality student-athletes on campus. Weber is now showing all the critics he can coach and he can recruit. Oh yes, these players that have recently committed, Brandon Paul, D.J. Richardson, Joseph Bertrand from the class of 2009, and Stan Simpson from the class of 2008, all rank as the top players in the state of Illinois.
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