In The Fold

A late-blooming kicker from Florida has signed a letter of commitment with West Virginia, and plans to be a part of the 2011 team.

Sam Richardson, who just began placekicking a couple of years ago, has signed and sent a letter of commitment to West Virginia, and plans to enroll there for the fall semester. Richardson could not sign a binding letter of intent, as the period when those documents are accepted is past, but he said he fully plans to be a part of this year's Mountaineer team.

"I just signed and sent in my letter," Richardson told "I think I will have a roster spot, but I haven't heard anything from the coaches yet as to when I should report."

Richardson is a soccer standout at Trinity Prep in Winter Park, Fla., and took up placekicking only on a challenge from a friend.

"I had someone come up to me and ask me about kicking, so I started doing it," he related. "I am consistent from 45 yards in, and I kick it either into or out of the end zone in high school. That's 60-65 yards, and I get about a 3,8-4.0 second hang time.

Richardson knows that kicking on the college level is a different challenge, but he's confident he can compete at West Virginia. He'll be doing so at the school where his grandparents spent their collegiate days.

"Both of them went to West Virginia, and my grandfather, Norman Harris, donated a room in the Coliseum," Richardson said, explaining the ties that led him to commit to WVU. "He also knows Oliver Luck, so that's how I got connected with West Virginia. Steve Dunlap called me and asked me to come up on an unofficial visit, and I did that a couple of weeks ago. I toured the campus, and got to meet the coaches, and then watched the scrimmage. I just loved everything about it, so I decided that was where I wanted to be."

Despite his family's ties to the school, that visit was Richardson's first to WVU. It was the start, however, of what he hopes is a good career.

"My grandparents didn't pressure me about coming here – they told me to do what I wanted to do. But they are really happy that I'm going to West Virginia. My parents were the same – they want what is best for me. Once I saw West Virginia I loved everything about it."

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