Flexibility the Key For WVU Commitment

The ability to play multiple positions is a big key in the recruiting game, and West Virginia's latest football verbal commitment has the market cornered in that area, according to his coach.

"I think that's why so many schools were interested in him," said Maurice Belser, the head caoch at James S. Rickards High School in Tallahassee, Fla. "He offers great flexibility. He has the speed to cover at cornerback, but he also has the ability to come up and make tackles if he were playing on the inside."

The "he" in question is Kent Richardson, a six-foot one-inch defensive back. The versatile senior played cornerback at Rickards this past season because it gave him the best opportunity to make plays for his team, but Belser has no doubt he could play a number of positions in college.

At West Virginia, his options will likely be magnified, as the Mountaineers feature three strong safety type positions to go along with two cornerback slots. Richardson's height and weight would allow him to match up well with the bigger wide receivers becoming prevalent in today's game, and would also stand him in good stead were he to play at free safety, spur or bandit, where taking on blocks and tackling become paramount.

Richardson also appears to have the temperament, as well as the physical tools, to handle any such assignment.

"He's a hard-working kid who does what he is coached to do," Belser said. "He has a good background and a solid family, so I think he has the potential to do well in Division 1.

"He doesn't talk a lot. He's not a guy that will get in your face," Belser continued. "He doesn't tell you how to do it. He shows you how it should be done. He's easy to coach, and as I said, he does what he is coached to do."

This is the first player that Belser has sent to West Virginia, and he liked what he saw from the Mountaineers' recruiting efforts.

"The coaches there did a good job with him. They did an excellent job of telling him what the West Virginia program is like," Belser related. "I have watch West Virginia play and improve over the past three years, and I think it will be a great place for him to be. I see that the West Virginia coaches care about their young men."

Hailing from Tallahassee, Richardson is likely to come in for some ribbing from his teammates over the upcoming West Virginia-Florida State Gator Bowl, but like many players, Belser doesn't think the head-to-head matchup of teams on the field has much to do with the recruiting process.

"Very little," is Belser's assessment of the effects of winning or losing a specific game. "I think players decide who they like based on visits and other things. I don't see where the outcome of a specific game ever makes a difference."

Richardson was also offered scholarships by Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa State and Louisville.

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