Oswego product earning NU interest

Oswego (Ill.) High School defensive back Jamaal Richardson has been impressed with Northwestern. On Friday, he attempted to impress the Wildcats, during the Chicagoland Showcase camp. Richardson recaps the experience in this PurpleWildcats.com recruiting update.

When recruiting interest begins to materialize, it can be easy to take it for granted. Oswego (Ill.) High School defensive back Jamaal Richardson isn't letting that happen.

Richardson, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound prospect, has received interest from a number of schools, including Northwestern. He is thrilled to be recruited by the Wildcats.

"It was a really surprising and a good accomplishment, especially with Northwestern and its academics," said Richardson. "Top of the line school; I'm speechless."

Thus far, Richardson has received interest from NU plus Illinois, Wisconsin, Western Michigan, Illinois State, Eastern Illinois and Western Illinois, among others.

The interest from the Wildcats stands out for numerous reasons, but in part because of an Oswego alum who is having success with Northwestern. Richardson has followed the football career of Tim Riley, currently a junior in the NU football program.

"I've never talked to him but since third grade, I've been watching him play," Richardson said of Riley.

Richardson hopes to contact Riley and discuss what the Northwestern program is like.

On Friday, Richardson got a first-hand look at the NU football program when he attended the Chicagoland Showcase camp in Evanston. It was there where he attempted to wow the coaching staff, namely defensive backs coach Jerry Brown.

Prior to the start of the drills, Brown encouraged the attendees to give their best effort.

"That's what my game is all about," said Richardson. "I just went after that and he liked it. It's all about competing."

Richardson provided a solid showing of his skills, but Northwestern coaches hope to evaluate his game on film. The safety is working to fine-tune his performance.

"I depend a lot on my physicality with the receivers," he said. "(Coaches) are trying to get me to stay low. I've gotten a lot better with it as the summer has gone on."

After the camp, Richardson had the opportunity to tour Northwestern's campus. Overall, he was blown away by the entire experience.

"I loved it," he said. "The coaches are awesome; the stadium was sick; the indoor practice facility was awesome. I loved it. It was great."

Richardson hopes a stellar senior season with the Oswego Panthers leads to scholarship offers. He has one primary goal for the upcoming campaign.

"Just show how much better I've gotten since last year," he said. "I want to show that I'm worth a scholarship and that I can play at the next level."

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers for Big Red Report, and currently covers the Northwestern Wildcats and Chicago Cubs. He currently resides on Chicago's north side.
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