Being marked with a bullseye is something that Riyahd Richardson has grown accustomed to during his career. At 5'8 170 pounds early on in his career teams thought his size would be something to take advantage of. Wrong. Richardson last season playing opposite of current Kentucky Wildcat Cartier Rice saw plenty of action and in turn Richardson burst on the scene with tons of big plays and interceptions. A year later with his team #1 in the country and every opponent bringing their "A" game each and every night Richardson relishes the challenge still.
Two weeks ago the Rebels faced Lincoln High (FL) and many folks believed that it would be the toughest game of the season for the Rebels. After a 38-0 shutout of Lincoln Richardson had this to say. "They were pretty physical, but we practiced hard all week and played as one unit."
This past Friday saw Byrnes hit the road to take on archrivals Gaffney. After a pretty convincing 42-14 win over the Indians the Rebels turn their attention to another Florida team, Pahokee, which features 4-star prospect Nu'keese Richardson.
For the Rebels and Richardson it's a game by game approach it would appear. "Yes we are taking it game by game. In order for us to stay number one, we have to, we can't get the bighead. Our coaches keep us grounded and each of us knows our roles whether it is on the field, or on the sideline encouraging someone else."
"We love having the bullseye on our chest because even though we're number one we still have a lot to prove."
With a few games under his belt Richardson talked about the toughest player he's matched up against so far this year. "I'd have to say number 12 from North Gwinnett because he knew how to compete and played very physical. I love when a receiver tries to get physical!"
With former teammate Cartier Rice gone and the lockdown moniker assigned to Richardson now teams seem to be shying away from throwing to his side. How does it make Richardson feel? "I love making plays for our team. Whether it is a regular practice session or Friday night, I love to grind on the field. I am hungry for the opportunity to work. I know that some have questioned my ability, but I would encourage anyone to come watch the Rebels on a Friday night. That passion that we have for this game is instilled in all of us."
Being such a outstanding playmaker at cornerback Richardson is entertaining a number of colleges who are heavily involved in his recruitment. "I hear the most right now from Notre Dame, Colorado, Syracuse, North Carolina State, Penn State, and Texas A&M. I have a verbal offer from Texas A&M." Some of those schools could be on the verge of joining Texas A&M with offers once Richardson gets his early grades back to show the progress he's made in the classroom. "I think Notre Dame, North Carolina State, Colorado, Syracuse, and Presbyterian may offer me."
Considering he's got a handful of schools in the mix right now we asked Richardson to talk about what he likes most about each of his favorites.
- NOTRE DAME: Coach Brown is GREAT! He not only has an interest in my game, but he offers a great deal in terms of life lessons. He has really provided me with some great information about this entire process. When he told me that I have proven myself on the field...it was life changing.
- TEXAS A&M: They have a great atmosphere.
- NC STATE: Their coaches are really knowledgable about the game of football. They have provided me with a couple of really good tips.
- SYRACUSE: Coach Lus is very easy to talk to.
- COLORADO: I am very excited about Colorado. My uncle and Godfather have provided me some great information about the school as well as their football program.
"I made some unofficals visits this summer to a few schools. Our schedule is really tight in the off-season with passing leagues and workouts...so my primary focus has been on our team, and our preparation for regular season."
The answer to the question so many college coaches are waiting to get should be coming soon. "I took the SAT as a junior, to get a feel for the SAT. I am going to take the SAT on October 4th. My grades are looking really good now. I worked hard last year and I improved my GPA. We just got our midterms, and I currently have all A's and B's."
The recruiting process as a whole has been a journey for Richardson but it appears that he's got a good grasp of it all now and has a good plan implemented before he comes to a decision. "I understand from some great mentors in this game of football, that this is life changing experience, and it is. I think that before I was capitavated from the hype and glamour and now I much more settled. I am taking my time and I am pursuing each opportunity that is presented to me with the help of my family."
Before we closed the interview with Richardson we asked him to finish the following sentence. "It's going to take__________ to beat Riyahd Richardson one on one."
His response was..."It's going to take a quicker, faster, stronger, receiver with a lot of heart to beat Riyahd Richardson one on one."
CB Riyahd Richardson