|Delray Beach (FL) Atlantic cornerback Antwaine Richardson (image via Prepbuilders)
Richardson is 6'0", 165 lbs. As a junior in 2014, he made 35 tackles, 2 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, and 10 pass breakups. He claims a 33" vertical.
Rivals: 3-star CB
247 Sports: 3-star, 86 grade, #81 CB, #822 overall
Richardson was a teammate of defensive end Shelton Johnson last season, who ended up signing with the Wolverines in February. Michigan was not on his radar much until they offered about a week ago during the Summer Swarm tour. The Wolverines leaped out to the lead in his recruitment, and there were rumors last weekend that he would commit. It took a little longer than some expected, but the news finally come today.
Richardson is lanky at just 165-170 lbs. but has good height for a cornerback. He is very physical for being so thin, and you can see in his highlights that he's not afraid to mix it up. He uses his hands well in press man coverage, and he makes hay by not letting guys off the line. Despite his thin frame, he is not afraid to step up in run support or lay a hit on an unsuspecting wideout. There are also some impressive clips of him jamming punt team gunners and blocking on the return team (check out the play at about 3:20 of the below highlights where he blocks three guys on one return).
Weight and strength are two obvious things that need to be improved on a player with his body. Richardson is also not the greatest athlete. He lacks great explosion and speed, and he has a bit of a hitch in his stride that may or may not be able to be worked out in training. He does not change direction particularly well, and he rises up too high when breaking out of his backpedal.
Overall, Richardson is a player who will need to pay strict attention to technique and responsibilities in order to max out his talent. He is not a dynamic athlete and cannot afford to make mental mistakes, but he already shows some good attention to detail. He is likely a boundary corner type of player, and in that respect, he reminds me somewhat of former Michigan cornerback J.T. Floyd. I could also see him playing some safety if corner doesn't work out. I do not see a high-ceiling player, but he can be a solid cog in a good defense if the other pieces are sound.
Michigan now has 11 commits in the 2016 class, a class that currently only has room for 15 players. He is the first defensive back in the class, although a couple other players (Kiante Enis, Chris Evans) could end up there eventually. The Wolverines are in pretty dire need of cornerbacks since the top three players at the position are upperclassmen and there are few options behind them. Michigan had never dipped into Atlantic High School until Johnson committed this past winter, but they have a solid program that produces a steady stream of talented players.
TTB Rating: 72 (ratings explanation)