Thursday, May 19, 2011

Terry Richardson, Wolverine

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


  1. Given a choice, which one would you prefer between Standifer, Wilson, Gant, or Morgan?

  2. @ Anonymous 11:12 a.m.

    Without a doubt I'd take Wilson. I'm not extremely excited about our safeties right now, so we need some help there, in my opinion. My order would be:

    1. Wilson
    2. Standifer
    3. Morgan
    4. Gant

  3. It's funny that scouting services can use common sense in ranking cornerbacks to determine if they'll develop well in college, whether or not the skill set and mindset is viable over pure size and speed, yet when there's a qb prospect in the NFL draft if he's big and runs he's the best. "Yes but can he be a qb?" "OH! He's so athletic!"

    I'm hoping for Wayne Morgan and Jarrod Wilson to follow. Richardson has been talking to Armani Reeves about Michigan, though.

  4. @ Michael 12:43 p.m.

    I would actually put Armani Reeves above a couple of those other guys, but he wasn't given as an option. I know he likes Michigan, but I'm thinking he'll follow Camren Williams to PSU.

  5. @ Thunder, Yeah I'm not sure Reeves will pull, I'd like him to, but with only 10 scholarships or so remaining the vacancies could be filled before he decides. I think only Texas and Texas A&M have more commits than Michigan despite Hoke not liking the idea of early commitments.

  6. This class seems to have pulled a bunch of guys who wanting to play together at the next level. They are setting their goals high as a recruiting class. It will be interesting to see how year 3 and 4 of their careers pans out. Could be an exciting time for U of M football.

  7. For a recruit who had offers from USC, Alabama, OSU etc., you don't sound too enamored with Richardson, Magnus. That is understandable given his height, lack of blinding speed and technique issues that you speak of. But I'm having a hard time reconciling his profile with his offer list; I mean, it's absolutely star studded. That's what making plays/interceptions will do for a player, I suppose.

  8. @ Andrew 10:43 a.m.

    On the contrary, I am pretty enamored with Richardson. As I stated, he's the best of the Cass Tech corners in the past several years, and I said that I approved of his recruitment. And I've consistently stated that he would be my #1 cornerback target of the guys who are looking at Michigan. There are a couple targets from around the country that we've offered who might have more upside, but Richardson is the best realistic option, IMO.

  9. Andrew,

    Magnus is the Leroy Jethro Gibbs of evaluating recruits. A player could break 12 tackles on a 99-yard run with perfect technique while simultaneously producing anti-matter and Magnus would just nod and say "Good job." When Magnus is a "fan" of a player's recruitment, I usually take that as a sign that we struck gold.

    Not that Magnus is infallible, but he knows so much more about this game than I do, so I defer to his judgment.

  10. @ David 3:08 p.m.

    Your second sentence is pretty accurate.

    I try not to get too high or too low. I rarely say that a certain guy is the next big superstar, and I rarely say that a guy absolutely sucks. I try to convey my approval through constructive criticism rather than from just a fan's standpoint. Some fans go ga-ga over all kinds of recruits, and the reality is that most guys will end up being just so-so or will never step on the field.

  11. Magnus,

    Your last sentence rings particularly (and painfully) true for Michigan fans, considering our recent track record with highly touted defensive backs.

  12. As Meeechigan Dan and I have commented, Magnus, assigning a hard number to your evaluations would help tease out these matters.

    You already do a good job with the narrative section - which is the most important part. But adding a numerical value would help the readership better understand your opinion on how recruits compare to one another.

  13. @ Andrew 1:52 a.m.

    I've started to come up with a rating system, but it's still in its infancy. I want to make sure that it weighs the important aspects of a recruit's talents (athleticism, instincts, etc.) over the less important aspects (technique, strength, etc.).