Though it seemed for a long time like Michigan would not acheeve dream of landing the top in-state trio of LBs Royce Jenkins-Stone and James Ross and CB Terry Richardson, fear not: Richardson sealed the deal today, completing the triumvirate.
NR CB, #195 Ovr
NR CB, 150 Watchlist
#3 CB, #31 Ovr
There is a machine hidden somewhere deep in Detroit that pumps out 5-9, 160-pound cornerbacks, and sends them to Cass Technical High School. Terry Richardson is the latest model, following Boubacar Cissoko, Dior Mathis, and Delonte Hollowell.
The question with him is the size. He stands 5-9, 162 pounds, but he is an excellent football player with great instincts and excellent ball skills. His extensive offer list is proof that many of the top programs in the country have seen enough to say, 'We can overlook the lack of size.'
For the record, Michigan has commitments from 1-seeds James Ross and Royce Jenkins-Stone, 2-seed Devin Funchess, and 3-seeds Matt Godin and Mario Ojemudia, and is in good position with a couple other prospects. Michigan State has commitments from... none of the top 16. The report on Richardson is almost the exact same as the three DBs before him: excellent skills, except he's really short (he was a combine-verified 5-8 in 2009, but that's 3 years before he enters college, too). Trieu says he has the best ball skills of the Cass Tech lineage. Sam also profiled him in the fall:
"He's a natural at corner," said Scout.com Midwest regional manager Allen Trieu. "He has tremendous instincts to go along with the quickness and hips to turn and run with receivers. He also has great ball skills. His main weakness is size. I'd like to see him add weight this offseason but his tackling this season has been solid despite that."
Terry's been putting on weight, as he claims he was only 130 pounds(!) as a sophomore:
"I believe last year I was around 130, and right now I am at 165," Richardson reported. "I feel way stronger. My press coverage is looking a lot better. That is something that I just cannot wait to work on this summer during camp season — being more physical in press coverage."
“I’m a big play guy. When we need a big play, I’ll come through and make it happen. I’m also smart and I can read routes and know what the offense is doing. I’m also always very composed and don’t get rattled. I want to be more explosive and get in and out of my breaks faster. I’m working on being more physically fit and getting stronger.”
Playing intelligently and building strength are HUGE needs for short DBs. Terry is a certified short guy. The only question about Terry is whether he can do those other things well enough to counter sub-optimal height.
It's relevant because all Cass Tech DBs are the same, so check out Brian's Delonte Hollowell profile for the general vibe on Terry, as well. Aside from the differences noted above, Terry is also a liiiittle bit taller than Delonte, and listed quite a bit faster.
Allen gave a little love to his offer list above, and here is a small sampling of schools who aren't too worried about Terry's height to offer: Alabama, Iowa, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, and USC. All of those schools have put guys into the league at the position in the past couple years.
Other offers include Arizona State, Cincinnati, Indiana, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Pitt, Toledo, and UCLA. This is not some under-the-radar prospect. He had interest from Florida, Miami, Oregon, and Tennessee, and if those schools had extended offers, this would be as exciting a prospect as there is in this class.
Terry Richardson finished his junior season with 35 tackles and 12 interceptions on defense. Offensively, he caught 12 receptions for around 400 yards and five touchdowns.
Richardson had four interceptions, 16 breakups and 20 tackles as a sophomore.
Not bad. Cass Tech ran a spread offense of sorts (though Royce Jenkins-Stone got his share of carries at fullback), and Terry got a few receptions on that side of the ball. Defensively, the Technicians don't play a lot of teams that throw the ball much, and I wouldn't be surprised if those stats are a little... exaggerated.
FAKE 40 TIME
Scout says 4.5, but none of the other sites have listed 40 times. Considering his Scout profile also lists a combine-verified 4.64 (actually not bad with laser timing), I'll have to give two FAKEs out of five.
Terry seems like a great corner, but on the other hand, Michigan has plenty of talent in the pipeline. Courtney Avery will be but a junior in 2012, and Blake Countess's class (also including Greg Brown, Tamani Carter, and Raymon Taylor) will just be sophomores or redshirt freshmen. Considering Terry is just a skinny little guy, a redshirt year is probably in order.
Following such a redshirt year, special teams time as a redshirt freshman is the expectation, before the graduation of Courtney Avery and Terrence Talbott opens up a starting spot, for which he'll compete alongside whichever younger guy doesn't take the Woolfolk/Floyd starting spot in 2012.
I would guess Terry has a good chance at that spot, assuming natural development, or he at least gets a chance in nickel packages (though it seems Mattison's current plan is to play a bigger safety type in the nickel). By the time he's an upperclassman, Terry should be getting plenty of time in the rotation, and be a possible all-conference type in his final two years.
Though his size may limit him in the NFL Draft down the road (assuming he's not done growing - don't forget he won't even be in college for another 18 months), he still has enough other skills to be selected after the first round.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
I am shaking in my shoes trying to figure out what other defensive back is going to commit within the next couple days, because I sure don't have the "comes in pairs" post ready to go for another guy (although Shane Morris and Matt Godin started to break up the position-by-position lockstep).
You know the story by now - DT, RB, OL, and WR are the remaining needs. A QB would be very nice, but is no longer imperative, and the remaining slots can go to the best prospects, regardless of position
Not only do we need younger coaches, but they all have to be black or some type of minority. Old white guys just CANNOT relate to the youth of today. Our recruiting classes will be terrible, because no talented black kids would ever want to play for old white men.
Great addition who solidifies the instate dominance and brings both talent and attitude to the defense. With that offer list there is no worry about his lack of height - the kid can play and might get to 5'11" by the time he comes to Ann Arbor.
Not that TR growing is out of the question, but for a guy who grew 5'9" in the first 17 years of life, it isn't likely he will have a 2 inch growth spurt at this point in his life. Not saying it is impossible, but highly unlikely. Any growth is a positive though, but even if he doesn't grow a millimeter, from his highlights you can see he can play.
Hoke and his staff are just making this look easy. I was a big supporter of RR while he was here and really only started following recruiting closely during that time period. I don't mean any disrespect to RR and his staff as I know they were hitting the recruiting trail as hard as anyone, but it always seemed like a struggle with them when trying to sell kids on UM.
I don't know the reason and frankly it isn't importnat, but Coach Hoke and his staff have just been making this look easy. Well done!
Welcome to the fold Terry! Very excited to have you!
It probably had something to do with the fact that the program was in disarray and his head was on a constant chopping block and that's a turn off to a lot of people when you're possibly committing to a school for 4-5 years. Look at TSIO's problems recruiting so far, a lot of kids are leery on it, had this stuff not been prevalent they'd probably have around the same number of recruits as Michigan does. I guess when you can't promise gold pants to sell if you win them or free cars and tattoos it really puts a damper on your recruiting trail...lol.
I wasn't bagging on RR, I simply made the statement that this staff is doing a great job and seems to be able to sell kids on UM much easier than he did. It seemed like a struggle even in the build up to RR's first season (long before job security was an issue). I don't know the reason and I am not condemning RR for it, I am just making the observation that BH is making this look easy. I loved RR too, but there is no need to ingnore the obvious.
RR was simply in over his head. He just didn't understand what it took to run a major tradition-steeped program. His players sensed it, the administration sensed it, the ex-players sensed it and the recruits and their families sensed it. Too many of the quality ones stayed away.
Also I don't think Sabin was worried about the disadvatage of recruiting against a midwest coach at Michigan. Michigan was and is a better program so anyone at MSU will always have to work harder to level the field (excepting the past three years of course). Going to a program that has the advatages of Michigan and pays better made leaving MSU easy.
1. The commitment of James Ross was the turning point. Terry sees Ross as someone of similar calibre (scholarship offers) and he wanted/needed to see other big names go to M. Funchess and Jenkins-Stone also helped.
2. He's working with the other commits to bring in a strong class.
3. He liked how Hoke and Mattison are taking care of business in-state. He said if this was last year's staff he probably wouldn't be at M.
Now that we don't have to worry about counting our chickens before they are hatched with Terry committing, what is our order of preference of the remaining DBs Wayne Morgan, Jarrod Wilson, Armani Reeves, and Standifer?
I want Jarrod Wilson out of those players the most because he's a true safety and a playmaker. We have a lot of guys who played corner but might switch to safety, but I'd like someone who has already done it. Wilson is that guy.
We are the leaders for Dymonte Thomas services per Tom. This guy is a true 5 star safety and I think it would be great if we get another true safety this year but it is not imperative. I think any of the rest of these guys would be great pick ups. As long as Hoke and company stay on Dymonte Thomas I think he is going blue and it may be sooner than we think. He may even pursuade his cousin to rethink his committment.