Gamecocks pursuing Virginia speedster

Recruiting more speed on offense is a priority for the Gamecocks, and USC has targeted a 2011 Virginia speedster who fits that mold. Read inside as talks with Menchville (Newport News, VA) athlete Clifton Richardson about his recruitment and where South Carolina stands in the race for his services.

In the past several recruiting classes the Gamecocks have loaded up on taller, athletic receivers, but the 2011 class looks to be different as the Gamecocks have extended offers to several 6'1" and shorter juniors. Clifton Richardson, who is a 6'1", 200 pound speedster, is one of those receiver targets who received a written offer from South Carolina the first day juniors were able to receive them, September 1st.

"I have 8 written offers so far - Miami, Virginia Tech, UVA, South Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, West Virginia and ECU. I'm also hearing from Georgia, Alabama, LSU and Kansas. South Carolina was one of the schools to offer me right off the bat on September 1st."

The USC roster doesn't consist of many players north of the Carolinas, but Virginia could be somewhere they look for talent to take them to the next level. Running backs coach Jay Graham is recruiting the talented wideout, who excels in both football and track. Richardson runs the 100 meter consistently at 10.9 seconds and has been hand timed as fast as 4.28 seconds in the forty yard dash.

"Coach Graham came by my school two weeks ago to see me, but I was out of town. He sat down and watched film of my season and said he really liked it. I think he is coming back to see me in the next week or so, I'm looking forward to that."

The USC football program will need all the help it can get to lure the Commonwealth athlete to Columbia, and one USC baseball player may be able to help.

"I don't know much about South Carolina, but my good friend Ethan Carter is there on a baseball scholarship and is a freshman. He's really talking them up and wants me to come down there with him. I'm thinking about it really hard, and I want to visit sometime in the spring. We played basketball together and are real close. I can see myself down there with him."

Does the Menchville High School product have any favorites, and will distance be a factor in his final decision?

"I grew up a huge Oklahoma fan. I love them as a fan, but I don't have any leaders or any top group just yet because its still very early," he said. "Distance isn't a factor because my parents said they just want me to get the best education. That is the number one thing I'll be looking for. I'll also be looking at the locker rooms and how the coaches interact with the players.

South Carolina and most other schools like Richardson as a wide receiver/athlete, but he believes he can play some running back on the college level as well.

"Everyone is recruiting me as an athlete. If I had to pick, I'd say I'm most comfortable at running back, but I can play any position. I'm pretty much just a balanced player, I am elusive, quick and powerful."

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