Shaq Is Back In L.A. With Verbal

Los Alamitos (Calif.) cornerback Shaquille Richardson won't be going far to play his college football, committing to the hometown favorite, UCLA, on Monday night...

After taking official visits to three Pac-10 schools, it was the hometown school that ultimately won out for Los Alamitos (Calif.) cornerback Shaquille Richardson.

The fast-rising cornerback committed to UCLA on Monday night.

"I feel real comfortable with my decision to commit to UCLA," said Richardson. "I really like the coaches, especially Coach Carnell Lake, he's a real good guy. I like the direction the program is going."

Richardson had officially visited Oregon State, Washington and Arizona State, but will visit UCLA next month.

"My official is planned for later, probably in January," said Richardson. "But I've been there on three unofficial visits and to games a number of times. I am very comfortable there."

Richardson said the proximity to home was a nice bonus.

"It's close to home so that was a plus, but it wasn't the only reason," said Richardson. "My family, they're excited to come to my home games."

Richardson had tried to call Lake to commit, but he wasn't succesful reaching him. Instead, he got to talk to the head man himself, Rick Neuheisel.

"I called Coach Lake, but he wasn't there so I ended up talking to Coach Neuheisel," said Richardson. "He was really happy and excited and said he was glad I finally jumped on board."

Arizona had been making a late push for Richardson, but the more he talked with the coaches from the Wildcats, and the other schools recruiting him, the more UCLA stood out.

"Even hearing what all the schools were saying, further convinced me UCLA was the right place," said Richardson.

Richardson said being able to play for the former Pro Bowler, Lake, was a big part of his decision. He said: "That was one of the other big reasons is getting to play for Coach Lake, I have heard a lot of great things about him. Everyone I talked to said he was the perfect person to learn from to play corner."

Richardson's cousin, Paul Richardson, the wide receiver from Gardena Serra, was once a UCLA commit, and the Bruins are still heavily in the mix for him.

"I called Paul and told him I was committing, so I'm probably going to start working on him now," said Richardson.

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