Clayton Richard's Dad Discusses The Draft

Michigan's top incoming quarterback recruit is Lafayette Ind.'s <B>Clayton Richard</B>. But Clayton is also a 90+ mph left-handed baseball pitcher. The pro baseball draft took place the past two days, and Michigan football fans were antsy since Richard was expected to be a high pick. We talked to Clayton's father last night about what happened.

The draft is over now, and I was surprised that Clayton didn't get drafted. Were you surprised?

"Not when you know why it happened. We take what happened as complement. The baseball scouts just saw the great future Clayton has in football."

"When you really sit down and think about the whole situation ... pro baseball is an industry. Baseball is a business, and it was hard to justify drafting him under the circumstances. We were told all along that talent-wise he belonged in the higher rounds of the draft. But because of football ... Clayton was always honest with the scouts that talked to him, telling them he definitely plans to play football for Michigan."

Were you expecting to go undrafted then?

"We really didn't have any expectations. All Clayton could do was tell them he truth and see what happens. Our attitude has been, whatever we have control over we work on ... what we don't, we don't worry about it."

Is it still possible Clayton will sign as a free agent?

"We'll see what happens regarding the free agent route -- we would only have until August to do that."

Is college baseball a possibility?

"Michigan baseball coaches Maloney and Lawrey both expressed strong interest in Clayton during the recruiting process. Coach Carr said he would allow it to happen -- he said he'd allow minor league baseball, and he said he'd allow him to play college baseball. We'd certainly discuss it with them."

Is Clayton still playing?

"School is finished. But baseball sectionals start this weekend. They're working him hard in baseball. Depending on how far they go, the season could go through the 21st."

"Then as far as coming to Ann Arbor. We'll see what happens. If he signs a free agent minor league baseball ... so we still don't have exact date. But if nothing comes of that, then Clayton will come up to Ann Arbor early."

If you've forgotten (shame on you!), Clayton Richard is (2002 MSU Nike stats) 6-5, 223 lbs., 4.9 in the 40, 4.43 in the 20 yd. shuttle, 17 bench press reps of 185 lbs. He was named Prep Football Report's number 20 prospect; SuperPrep's number 78 prospect; Parade Magazine's 55-member All American Team. He played in the U.S. Army All Star Game on January 5, 2003 with eight other future Wolverines.

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