Hello: Terry Richardson

Submitted by Tim on May 19th, 2011 at 7:59 AM

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.

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GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 24/7 Sports
4*
#10 CB
4*, 5.8
NR CB, #195 Ovr
NR CB, 150 Watchlist 4*, 97,
#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.

Richardson was a 2-seed in Sam Webb's March Madness recruiting column for the Detroit News. Allen Trieu on Terry's game:

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."

Moving along, Terry talks about himself on his Scout profile:

“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.

OFFERS

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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.

STATS

The Scout profile provideth:

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.

VIDEO

Youtube highlights:

You can also catch a couple glimpses of #9 in last year's Cass Tech FNL feature, where he impressed me a bit more than 2011 Michigan commit Delonte Hollowell.

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

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

Comments

bronxblue

May 19th, 2011 at 2:09 PM ^

I've given up expecting any logical discussions to emanate from the RCMB regarding the most recent recruiting cycle - they find it impossible to understand why people wouldn't want to go to the B10 Champion Spartans even though (a) most everyone feels that was kind of a fluke season and not a sign of an emerging power, (b) their last game was a bloodbath arguably worse than the UM-MSU throttling b/c at least UM can point out that the head guy there was fired and they are starting over, and (c) MSU's pipeline from Southeastern has dried up a bit especially with the change at the HC. 

I do think that UM is riding a wave of momentum that isn't sustainable year-to-year when it comes to recruits, but even under RR they tended to get good kids (at least guru-approved good kids) and brought in classes that outpaced everyone but OSU, PSU, and sometimes Wiscy.  So yeah, this is a return to the way things used to be, and the little run MSU had the past couple of years was more a smokescreen timed with unexpected upheaval at UM than some seismic shift in recruits' preferences.

Grahambino

May 19th, 2011 at 12:16 PM ^

UPDATE: So much for Notre Dame, apparently, with buzz making the rounds that Gunner Kiel is down to a final four of Alabama, Michigan, Missouri and Oklahoma, with the Sooners said to be in the lead but Kiel likely to make another visit to Ann Arbor before he decides (suggesting that the Wolverines are running second at the moment). Kiel also said he would announce next month, giving a great boost to any school's recruiting efforts.

 

Straight from ESPN's Rumor page.

dahblue

May 19th, 2011 at 12:27 PM ^

Dear Coach Hoke:

I am just writing to let you know that while it's swell and whatnot that you're landing all of these recruits so quickly, you're making it very difficult for me to get shit done.  I should be paying more attention to work, but it seems like every day you go out and land another recruit.  Have you no concern for alumni productivity?

Further, where is your sense of charity?  You bulled your way from California to Michigan like you own the place.  Then, having only been here for about two minutes, you start slapping the food off of Mark Dantonio's fork.  Don't you know that he won a portion of the Big Ten title last year?  He's supposed to have a bumper crop this year, but instead you tossed him into a dustbowl.  Unlike you, Dantonio is a charitable guy - hell, he even lets his kids go right from jail to jersey.  Sometimes, he even lets them skip practice as "punishment"!  And what do you do?  You snatch any recruit he even thought about.  Don't you think you should toss him a crumb every now and then?

Anyway, I know you've got a job to do and whatnot, but I haven't begun my work for next week and you're already knocking shit out for 2013?  C'mon.  You're making us all look bad.

Very truly yours,

dahblue

pdgoblue25

May 19th, 2011 at 12:42 PM ^

The way they're trying to rationalize this is like the the first cold beer after a long day at the office.  Yeah, keep telling yourself that you recruit nationally now, because it's hilarious.

bronxblue

May 19th, 2011 at 1:16 PM ^

Great to see Richardson will be joining the god guys, and congrats again to Hoke and co. for recruiting so well.  Definitely am looking forward to the next couple of months being filled with little drama and more big signings.  I would like to see the team recruit some kids outside of their backyard (just to assure me that those pipelines are still open), but with so much top talent in the state I don't blame them.

dahblue

May 19th, 2011 at 2:22 PM ^

No...No...No...That's not it at all.  What's happening [sarcasm alert] is that we can offer these kids immediate starting time and since MSU is so loaded with talent (cough* cough* convicts), the kids don't want to go to State and wait their turn.  I mean, seriously, look at the top recruiting programs like Alabama, Texas, USC...that's how they get all of their recruits as well - immediate playing time!

Death2Brutus

May 19th, 2011 at 3:18 PM ^

It's good to see just how quickly Hoke and company could improve upon Michigan's lackluster in state recruiting ability of recent history. I understand Michigan hasn't even played a game since ousting the previous regime but I can't help but feel that the worse is already behind us.  

Welcome aboard Terry Richardson.

Bluepride23

May 19th, 2011 at 3:36 PM ^

I love reading the Freep and hearing all the crying MSU fans talking about how short and skinny T-Rich is. Do they not realize that Dantonio wanted this guy too? Wonder what they would be saying about him if that happened? They're getting more than destroyed in this recruiting race...and as always GO BLUE!

Bluepride23

May 19th, 2011 at 4:22 PM ^

OK, this was the first time I've ever looked at thet RCMB board and MSU is obsessed with UM. It's to the point of hilarious. You would think they were 5th graders the way they call names and talk about how they're recruiting nationally now (insert laugh here). SCUM, SCUMMERS, SCUMMIES and all those real creative names they use. I also really enjoy the fact that UM uses unethical tactics to get players....lol...Uhm, ok..Get back in line little brother, where you belong. I also truely believe they would lose every other game as long as they could beat UM. That's all they care about. Can you say LOSER!

turd ferguson

May 19th, 2011 at 6:14 PM ^

In fairness, there's been a whole lot of MSU talk around here lately, too.  Too much if you ask me.

One difference between the two, though, is that we don't have moderators locking threads just because they're worried that Michigan fans will say embarrassing things that will be mocked by MSU fans.  That's an MSU special (on both their 247 site and The Only Colors).

UMWolves

May 19th, 2011 at 4:57 PM ^

Hoke and company can recruit with the best of them.  Now they have to get results on the field.  If their ability to coach is 1/3 their ability to recruit, they'll be alright by 2012

The D Zone

May 19th, 2011 at 6:44 PM ^

#1 player according to me, is now Blue.  Thats 1,2 and 3.

 

The 3 are no doubt 3 best players, If Michigan can get Amos Houston for S that would be ridic, best LBs, CB and S.