DE Closing In On UM Offer

Piper High in Sunrise was one of the hot spots for college coaches recruiting in south Florida last month. Piper is home to one of the state's top defensive linemen, Vlad Richard.

The talented lineman, who checks in at 6-3 1/2 and 255 pounds, combines a rare blend of size, quickness, and toughness to dominate the opposition.

"I'm bigger than a lot of other defensive ends so I can use my strength to my advantage," Richard said. "The thing is, people dont think I'm as fast as I am. I can win a lot of different ways."

Winning is something Richard did often last season as a junior. He finished the year with over 80 tackles and three quarterback sacks. Now he's aiming for more.

"Getting to the playoffs is the first thing I wanna do but I'd also like to get my stats up some," he said.

Richard, also also plays basketball (he's playing AAU ball this summer with close friend and fellow recruit Gerald Williams), has become one of the state's most heavily recruited defensive linemen.

"I've got offers in the mail now from Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Florida, Georgia, South Florida, Clemson, Minnesota, and Georgia Tech," he said. "NC State is gonna offer. I also talked to coach Greg Mark from Miami."

Richard said the Canes have not yet offered but he likes what he's been hearing from them lately.

"Coach Mark was at spring jamboree watching me," he said. "I talked to him later on. He said I had a good game that night and how he really liked me. He said I better be ready because he's gonna be recruiting the heck out of me this year."

Richard was in Gainesville last weekend for the UF senior camp. He'll get to see UM more later this year.

"I'll probably go to some games and stuff like that," he said. "Right now my top five would be Miami, Florida, Florida State, NC State, and Georgia."

Richard carries a 3.5 GPA inside the classroom and is projected to be a full academic qualifier.

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