Dace Richardson: One of Chicago's Best

The Iowa Hawkeyes are building some momentum in their recruiting efforts this week, with four new commitments in the fold. One of them, Jake Christensen of Lockport, Illinois, is lobbying hard for several of the best Chicagoland players to join him in Iowa City. One of those players is offensive lineman Dace Richardson. Hawkeyenation.com spoke with Dace about his recruitment, including his thoughts on Christensen's commitment to Iowa. He took notice.

With the rapid pace of Iowa football commitments these last few days, you would expect the calendar to read November or December, not June 17th.

Summer is typically a time for a bit of rest and relaxation, a time to take things a little slower.

Or it used to be.

This week, Iowa has received verbal commitments from receivers Trey Stross and Marcus Wilson, offensive lineman Kyle Calloway and quarterback Jake Christensen. They join defensive lineman Alex Kanellis as players who have given their verbal pledge for the Hawkeyes.

Iowa is still very much pursuing several of the nation's top football players, including offensive lineman.

Last night, we spoke with one of those linemen in Dan Doering.

But there is another Chicagoland lineman that Iowa is also very high on, and he is Dace Richardson.

Richardson camped at Iowa earlier this week, and had this to say on the experience:

"I attended the Iowa camp to watch the coaches in work, and see the type of teaching I would receive. It was a real nice camp, and I came away feeling like I had learned something. The coaches and people at Iowa are real genuine, and I feel the coaches will be as hard on me as needed to get me to perform at my full ability."

We spoke with Richardson today to get a feel for what the rest of his summer might entail.

"I am going to try to make it out to a few more schools, but my schedule is up in the air right now. To this point, Iowa is the only school that I have been to this summer. This spring, I was at Iowa's spring game and I saw Michigan and Michigan State over spring break." Richardson said.

Richardson has been playing football for just two years, but that has not stopped some of the best football programs in the nation from offering him a scholarship. Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Tennessee and USC have all extended offers, as has Illinois.

"I feel comfortable at tackle, and have played both left and right tackle in high school. Once I learned some techniques, I just increased my skills and started to play well, even though I have not played for that long."

Though Chicago is a big city, it seems like somewhat of a small town in the world of high major high school football prospects. They all keep tabs on one another and know the latest news shortly after it happens.

Richardson was well aware that Lockport's Jake Christensen had committed to the Hawkeyes.

"I received a phone call yesterday and learned about that. I was real happy for Jake." Richardson said.

"When I heard that, it made me like their team a little more, because Jake is a good quarterback and makes good decisions on the field. We played against them in the quarterfinals. They beat us. It came down to the fourth quarter, and Jake was calm with his team and constructed a game winning drive."

With such a connected group of players, we wanted to know if there was any sort of old fashioned Chicago Political Machine effort to ‘stuff the ballot box' for the Hawkeyes now that Christensen has verbally committed to them.

"I don't think we have all sat down and said ‘hey, let's go to the same school', but I know that Jake is trying to get us all together to go to Iowa." Richardson said.

"It makes me feel honored, and I appreciate that he wants us to further our careers together at the next level, especially since I could be protecting him on the line some day."

As for the Hawkeye football program Richardson says there one big factor that really makes them stand out in his eyes

"Just the way they prepare their offensive linemen for the NFL, and how they can take raw potential and make a good player into a great player."

He told us that Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Tennessee are the schools that are standing out above the rest right now, but that he does intend to take a visit to USC.

He once lived in California, and said that distance will not be a factor in his decision.

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