|Detroit Cass Tech cornerback Terry Richardson|
Detroit cornerback Terry Richardson committed to Michigan on Thursday morning. He selected the Wolverines over a long list of suitors that included Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, LSU, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Pittsburgh, UCLA, and USC, among others.
Richardson stands 5'9" and weighs 160 lbs. while listing a 4.5 forty. He's a 4-star recruit and the #195 overall player to Rivals. Scout also lists him as a 4-star and ranks him as the #10 cornerback in the country. Upstart site 247 Sports has the best opinion of Richardson, giving him a grade of 97, ranking him as a 4-star, and putting him at the #3 cornerback and #31 overall player. So the recruiting sites like him.
There are varying reports on Richardson's statistics, but Scout says he had 35 tackles and 12 interceptions as a junior. I've also seen interceptions numbers listed at 9 and 8 for him, so it's hard to tell what's right. Regardless, somewhere between 8 and 12 interceptions is pretty dang good. He also had 20 tackles, 16 pass breakups, and 4 interceptions as a sophomore.
I have stated before that I think Richardson is the best of Cass Tech's midget cornerbacks in recent years. The Technicians have produced a slew of 5'6"-5'9" cornerbacks like Boubacar Cissoko (Michigan), Teric Jones (Michigan), Dior Mathis (Oregon), Delonte Hollowell (Michigan), Kishon Wilcher (Toledo), and now Richardson. He has the "it factor" that I can't really explain, but he always seems to be around the ball. One of my reservations with Cissoko was that, despite all of his technique and physical skills, he only had 3 interceptions in his junior and seasons combined. In some ways, Richardson is the polar opposite - lacking some technique but making big plays. However, the hip swivel is there for him to turn and run with receivers in an instant, and some good defensive back coaching from Curt Mallory should help him in that respect.
Obviously, Richardson's size is a concern. Big Ten corners can do just fine at 5'9", but he's awfully thin and needs to bulk up before he gets a chance to play. I think Michigan fans had enough of the reed-thin cornerbacks in 2010 with Courtney Avery and Terrence Talbott on the field. Richardson also won't blow you away with his speed, but he has enough to get the job done.
Overall, I'm a fan of Richardson's recruitment at Michigan. He's a smooth athlete with a nose for the ball. And sometimes having a knack for finding the football is more important than being 6'0" tall and having blinding speed.
This is Michigan's twelfth commitment for the class of 2012, and recruits have stated that the Wolverines would like to take three cornerbacks overall. Richardson would be the seventh commitment from Cass Tech in the last five recruiting classes (2008-2012), six of whom will be on the roster together; Cissoko was dismissed from the team in 2009, but Richardson would join William Campbell, Thomas Gordon, Teric Jones, Delonte Hollowell, and class of 2012 teammate Royce Jenkins-Stone.
TTB Rating: 85