Richard Shuffles Visits, Names Leaders

The Darryl Richard Watch has been an active one this year in Stanford circles, with the Cardinal coaches hoping he can give them the blue chip elite talent at the defensive tackle position they so badly require. The Louisiana star has been sparing in his words about recruiting this fall, but his plans and school list are tightening up as we approach the stretch run...

In an epic more fabled than the Lord of the Rings tales, and more widely discussed than even our own Graduation Rate Analysis, Buddy Teevens is still searching for impact defensive tackles that can bolster a thin defensive line at Stanford.  The most promising top prospect who could revolutionize the Cardinal pass rush, and who has also been personally recruited by Teevens throughout this year, is Destrehan HS (Destrahan, LA) phenom Darryl Richard.  The 6'4" 285-pound wrecking ball has torn up opposing offenses this year with 75 tackles in 10 regular season games, including 24 tackles for loss and 11 sacks.  And those TFL do not include quarterback rushes stopped short of the line of scrimmage, according to Destrehan's statistical guidelines.  He has also forced three fumbles and recovered one more.

"I think I'm doing a good job this year opening up holes in the line for other people to get through," Richard details.  "Sometimes I play all the way out at the five technique, and can move all the way inside to the two - it depends on the play.  I also call the defense for our team, which means I have to know the responsibilities from the free safety down to the nose.  I'm pretty pleased with my technique and physical presence - just work on motivation to keep the other guys around me up all the time."

Despite having a handful of injuries that have plagued Destrehan all year, the squad has gone 8-2 and sits as the #17 seed in the 32-team Class 5A Louisisana state playoffs.  They will face their first post-season test tonight as they face #16 seed Slidell on the road.

Richard has been a dominating defensive presence all year, but he has been slowly integrated into the offense as well.  He has played both tight end and fullback in his team's "heavy" formations, as well as offensive tackle.  The standout athlete has also lined up at tight end in double-tight formations, but this week will yield a surprise to the Slidell defense.

"The coach has something put in where I'll touch the ball this week," Richard reveals.  "I'm excited."

You have heard only bits and pieces of Richard's recruiting news this fall, however, as the team-focused athlete has tried to shut out most recruiting discussion until his senior season is concluded.  That, plus some scheduling conflicts, have led him to cancel a handful of recent visits.  He was to take his second official visit to Colorado a week ago but had to cancel, and did the same for his planned trip to UCLA this weekend.  Even his Stanford official which was thought to be on December 5 has been moved back to a probable January 9 date.  Richard needs to take the SAT that first December weekend for a National Achievement Award contest where he is currently a semi-finalist (qualified with his PSAT score). The National Merit Scholarship folks do not recognize the ACT, where Richard has scored an impressive 29.

Does the canceling of Richard's Stanford trip mean the Card are in danger of not receiving an official visit?

"Oh, no - not at all," he quickly replies.  "I'm definitely visiting Stanford.  It's just a question of when."

The #9 defensive tackle in America already took one official visit to Notre Dame, and Richard says he is confident that he will visit both Stanford and Miami.  Those three schools not coincidentally are who he names his current leaders.  UCLA is a very probable fourth visit, which would leave one remaining spot.

"That last visit is up for grabs between Colorado, LSU and Georgia Tech," he proclaims.  "All of the schools have offered."

For a long time we have thought that this recruitment would come down to a Stanford-Notre Dame decision, but the Hurricanes have roared into the picture and will get their visit either December 12 or 19.

"I had not talked as much about Miami before because they had not offered," Richard explains.  "The film I sent them went to the wrong place, so they didn't offer.  I was only looking at visiting and considering schools who had offered."

But do the Irish hold an advantage over both the Card and Canes with their visit already in the bag?

"Because I took a visit and have seen them and experienced everything, they have a slight advantage," he allows.  "But other schools know what I'm looking for and will do a good job, I'm sure.  It's hard to compare a place you have visited to ones you have not."

Richard says he has completed all parts of the Stanford admissions application, save the essays.  "With some of these award and contest essays and their deadlines, I haven't been able to get to the Stanford essays yet," he says.  "But I just can't wait to get out and see the Stanford campus - the atmosphere, players and coaches."

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