De'Asian Richardson didn't play a single down for Orange Park, Fla., First Coast High School after his transfer from Orange Park High School.
But First Coast athletic director and football coach Marty Lee called Richardson "a member of the family." He practiced with the team after his mid-season transfer and on Wednesday will be among 10 players from the school signing.
On the college football national signing day, Richardson will ink with the University of Louisville. He had previously been committed to West Virginia, but flipped in early January and will become a Cardinal.
"He's excited about it," Lee said. "He felt like it was the right place for him. He was committed to West Virginia but wanted to open it up and (Charlie Strong) and the Louisville staff did a great job recruiting him."
The 6-foot-4, 270-pound Richardson is ranked as the No 36 defensive tackle in the country by Scout.com and a three-star prospect. He could play defensive tackle or perhaps defensive end at U of L.
"I told those guys (at Louisville), they may be getting the steal of Jacksonville," Lee said.
It's been a long process to get to this day for Richardson, who was a Jacksonville Times-Union Super 11 selection. He had a knee injury during his junior season but worked himself back into being one of the areas top prospects.
Richardson played three games for Orange Park before what Lee called "an unfortunate incident." He was dismissed from the team and the next week enrolled at First Coast, where he was eventually ruled ineligible by the Florida High School State Athletic Association for the rest of the season. But he could practice.
"It was a bad situation and I never talked to the Orange Park coach but I talked to the athletic director," Lee said. "He was upset on that Friday night, he used some foul language but he didn't hit anybody or anything like that.
"He got upset and the coach dismissed him from the team. But he's worked out with us, we accepted him and he's been great since he's been here. He's a good kid and has learned some things. What kids haven't made some mistakes?"
When Richardson committed to U of L there were some questions about his academics but Lee said he's "really been working hard in the classroom."
"He's doing everything he has to do right now," Lee said.