Richardson taking official to SMU

Central CB/RB/KR James Richardson has been timed repeatedly in the 4.35 range and those wheels, along with his aggressive hitting and ball skills at CB, make him an extremely attractive target for SMU, which is looking to bolster its depth in the secondary. What is Richardson - who is taking an official visit to watch the Mustangs vs. Marshall this weekend - looking for in a program?

"I'm looking for a school where I can fit right in with their program," said Central (Baton Rouge) senior James Richardson. "I know that I might not be able to play immediately at every school, but I also don't want to go to a school where I have to sit on the bench for two or three years."

Richardson and the Wildcats finished off their season last week, going 7-4 and advancing to the first-round of the Class 5A playoffs, where they were eliminated by New Iberia.

"We had two mistakes - turnovers - in the first minute of the game and that hurt us," said Richardson in regard to the Central/New Iberia game, won by the No. 14 Yellow Jackets, 31-14.

Richardson's team faced undefeated No. 3 St. Paul's earlier in the year, and the Wildcats gave SMU commit Jermaine Sams and the Wolves their sternest test of the season back in early September.

St. Paul's won that game, 19-15.

What is Richardson's prediction for this week's second-round game pitting New Iberia and St. Paul's?

"It should be a good game," he said. "I expect that St. Paul's will win. I did pretty good when we played them (St. Paul's). I had an interception return for a touchdown.

"Jermaine has been talking to me about SMU. He wants me to come with him to school over there. Coach (Jeff) Reinebold says that they want me badly and that there's a spot for early playing time. I'll have to earn that spot through competition, but it's available."

Richardson was taking a quick breather from an after-school weight-room session when this interview was conducted.

"I'm training with the weights and working on keeping my speed," he said. "I'll be running the 100, 200, and the relays. Last year, I had a couple of minor injuries or I would have gone to the state track meet."

Richardson smoked the rest of the field in the 40-yard dash at the New Orleans Under Armour Combine, running a sizzling 4.35.

In comparison, four-star WR Odell Beckham ran a 4.50 at the same event.

Richardson is already academically qualified with a "3.3 to 3.4" grade point average and an 18 on the ACT. He plans on taking the ACT again in hopes of improving his score.


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