Sam Webb: I know Richard just transferred in this year, but give me an idea from a coaching perspective of what he brings to the table.
Roger Harriot: “He is a dynamic. He is a long rangy kid. He is 6’4” and 225 pounds. He can move really well. He has exceptional football instincts and a very high I.Q. His upside is incredible. He is only 16 years old and his body having the potential to grow into a phenomenal prototypical defensive end or linebacker. I think the most impressive thing about him is the leadership, the intangible character traits that he possesses. He is an extremely mature person. He does all the right things off the field. He is the epitome of what it means to be a scholar athlete and a good person. He takes a lot of pride in meeting expectations off the field. More importantly, he tries to exceed expectations. He does it with a sense of true humility where people become fans and they wish him well. It is not a surprise why he has attracted so much positive attention over the past few months. He is seriously grounded. A lot of great things are going to happen for him in the future.”
Sam Webb: I know he has a ton of offers. Have any schools started to stick out for him?
Roger Harriot: “Right now he is wide open. He has over 40 offers. He has Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, USC. I know Stanford is a little different in the way they do their offers, but they are in the mix as well. You have all the SEC schools, Arkansas, LSU, Alabama. The only schools that haven’t offered him so far are Miami or Florida State as of yet. He has an offer from Florida. He has an offer from UCF and USF. He is keeping his options open and he is getting himself geared up to make an educated decision with his family.”
Sam Webb: Michigan has obviously been by the school, just from your perspective tell me from your interaction with the coaches has been like.
Roger Harriot: “They are great guys. They are down to earth. It was a pleasure to sit down with them and talking and getting to know them a little bit better. Just to hear their admiration for our program and the interest level that they have in Richard and also in Quincy Wilson, it was very extraordinary. We are looking forward to the recruiting process to continue. Our director of our school is a grad from Michigan. He was an All-American swimmer there. Michigan has a presence here. We have several kids that matriculated into Michigan as well.”
Sam Webb: I don’t know if you’ve had an opportunity to speak to Richard about the factors in his decision, but if you have, what are going to the most significant factors in his choice?
Roger Harriot: “I think for most kids right now, they’re becoming a little more educated about the progress and a little savvy. I think social media has helped them through this process. I think most kids want to make sure that they drown themselves in a family oriented environment with coaches that they can relate to. I think they are going to be looking for the right fit with regards to the campus. Whether it is your traditional campus life or city life or whatever the case of what their interest are. I think more importantly than anything else, the probability that they are going to be successful throughout the career of the school of their choice. I think a lot of kids are looking at it from that aspect. They are doing a whole lot of research and more kids than not are wanting to have an opportunity to play early, play as freshman, but if that doesn’t work out then they will get red shirted and have an opportunity to get their masters. I think those are the variables that are going to play a factor in the decision process, at least for a University school kid.”
Sam Webb: Has he talked to you about his timeline? Is he going to be a signing day kid, wait until signing day to make a decision?
Roger Harriot: “I wouldn’t be surprised if he went to signing day and I wouldn’t be surprised if he made a decision before the season. It all depends on exactly what they are looking for. We encourage our kids and their families to really research the schools that have been recruiting them and make the decision that is in their best interest with regards to who wants them the most and not so much where they want to go. It has not been determined whether it is going to be a signing day thing or a short term thing. Some schools don’t have the luxury to wait around. Some schools will wait until the end and won’t pressure you. It just depends on the personality and the mentality of that school and what their recruiting goals are.”
Sam Webb: Do you think distance from home is going to be a factor for Richard?
Roger Harriot: “No. His parents have done a great job of raising him. He is an extremely cultured kid and he realizes that if he has an opportunity to get out of state, he’ll make the best of it. If he is in-state, his family will have an opportunity to take part in his college experience, collegiate experience. He is open-minded right now. He is not leaning one way or the other right now. He is going through the process and doing as much research as he can and we’re going to give him some guidance and he’ll make an educated and strategic decision as he can.”