Chris Richards: Not so Fast

Reports abound that Michigan defensive back commitment <b>Chris Richards</b> has changed his mind and decided to pledge for the Cal Bears, his longtime favorite, and the school for which his father played. GoBlueWolverine Magazine spoke with Richards Thursday, and he said things aren't quite settled. <br>

When defensive back Chris Richards committed to Michigan back in July, he said he wasn't really thinking of Michigan at the time. However, his godfather, Michgian defensive backs coach Ron English, persuaded the little-known player from Monroe High School in North Hills, Calif., to visit the Ann Arbor campus, and he fell in love.

In any relationship there sometimes comes a time when one must look around before finalizing the deal. It appears Richards is doing just that. Denying to GBW late Thursday afternoon reports that he has come to a final decision, Richards did however tell us he is taking a serious look at Cal. "It was the visit that made me look at them closer," he said. "I met some of the players and they were all loose and cool. At Michigan they seemed a little more uptight. Plus, Cal is closer to home and they were my favorite all along; they just didn't show me any interest. But I haven't decided anything yet. You can say I'm not committed to anyone right now. If I don't come to a decision tomorrow (Friday) then I'll wait until Signing Day."

After Richards' fantastic performance in the CaliFlorida All-Star game in Miami Jan. 2, where he had one interception and one impressive open-field tackle against top wide-out Fred Rouse, Cal turned up the pressure on Richards to change his mind. "I think that was a big factor," Richards said about his performance in the all-star game. "They really made me feel like they wanted me bad. My dad played there and it's where my mom has always wanted me to go, so I have to give them a chance."

The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Richards said he would come in and play right away. Michigan was offering him a grey-shirt scholarship, which would allow him to enroll in January 2006. He'd maintained all along it was his wish to delay enrollment so he could gain weight and strength, since he is only 16. He expanded to GBW on that a bit, since Cal is offering him for the class of 2005. "In the Big Ten, the players are bigger and the defensive backs have to make a lot of tackles, that's why I wanted to take the extra time to get bigger, so I could handle that kind of hitting" Richards said. "In the Pac 10 defensive backs don't do as much tackling, so I don't need to be as big. I could play this season."

Richards said he had spoken with Coach English, and though he said the coach was dissappointed, he understood the decision to step back and take a look. English also played at Cal, alongside Richards' father, Chris Sr.

The Michigan Insider Top Stories