Chris Richards, the Vikings look to rise up to the challenge of taking the top spot in the Valley Mission League from longtime nemesis, Sylmar."> Chris Richards, the Vikings look to rise up to the challenge of taking the top spot in the Valley Mission League from longtime nemesis, Sylmar.">

Monroe Gearing Up For the Big Time

"The Time is Now for Monroe" reads the headline in today's L.A. Daliy News. Lead by wide receiver and Michigan commitment <b>Chris Richards</b>, the Vikings look to rise up to the challenge of taking the top spot in the Valley Mission League from longtime nemesis, Sylmar.

"It's definitely the best team we've had since I've been here," Monroe coach Chris Richards told the Daliy News. "This is a group that works hard as a team and as individuals, and I think we have a shot to do some nice things." Richards is the father of Michigan commitment Christian Richards, a senior this year who will enroll at Michigan in January 2006, thereby grabbing the honor as the first Wolverine in the recruiting class of 2006.

As reported after his pledge to Michigan, there is much more than just a fondness for the Wolverines that led the younger Richards to place his college future in Ann Arbor. Michigan defensive backs coach Ron English is good friends with the elder Ricahrds as well as godfather to Christian. The relationship goes back to the time when English and Richards, Sr. played football together at Cal.

It's been 20 years since the Vikings have defeated Sylmar but Richards, who moved from running back to wide receiver this year, looks to be a big factor in ending the drought. The 6 foot 0, 163 Richards has blazing speed, clocking a 4.4 in the 40 at the San Diego State Nike Camp earlier this year. Wide receiver is not the only position the talented youngster plays. "I'm a wideout, running back, and third string quarterback on offense," he recently told GBW. "I play corner on defense and return kicks. I'm also the holder on extra points. I think we're going to run a lot of fakes with me doing the holding." He said that Michigan is recruiting him as a corner and that is where he wants to play in college.

Richards is young for his class. As a result he will be 17 when he enters college. "I could be a junior right now," he said. "But I started school early so I'm a year ahead of a lot of people in my class. The extra time before I play will help me get bigger without having to waste a red-shirt, I can use that later if I need it."

We'll have more on Richards, including photos and a scouting report, in an upcoming edition of GoBlueWolverine, The Magazine.

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