December 30, 2012

Richard proving his worth

ATLANTA - Calvary Day junior tight end Milan Richard is as talented as they get.

At 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, Richard is polished as a receiver and has the speed to create matchup nightmares for linebackers and safeties.

Richard, however, plays at a small private school in Savannah and despite almost a dozen offers, he has had a fairly quiet recruitment thus far.

This week, however, Richard has had a chance to show what he can do against some of the top talent in the state of Georgia at the Rising Seniors week in Atlanta, and it is a challenged he has embraced.

"It's great," said Richard when asked about the Rising Seniors experience thus far. "There is a lot of talent out there. Everyone is on the same playing field out there talent wise, and it is very humbling being on the same field as some of the best talent in the state."

When playing against the best competition, a player is usually best served to stick to his strengths, and Richard believes he has a good idea of where and how he can excel.

"I definitely think I can stretch the field a lot with playing in a spread offense like I do now. I can run good routes and get open down the field," he said. "I feel like I can get better coming down and blocking, and that is something I want to improve on."

When it comes to his recruitment, Richard has received a great deal of attention from schools all over the southeast, and says that four schools are recruiting him the hardest at this time.

"I have 11 offers right now. Vanderbilt is probably recruiting me the hardest," he said. "Then Clemson, South Carolina, and North Carolina State are all on me as well."

As the nephew of Georgia alum and Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker, one would expect Richard to pick his uncle's brain to know as much as he can about the recruiting process.

According to the Savannah native, Walker is supportive but the conversation is usually about things other than football.

"Not really," said Richard when asked if he gets any recruiting advice from his ungle. "When I get a new offer, he will always call and congratulate me, but we really don't talk much about recruiting. He is always supportive. Whenever we see each other, we talk about it some but that is never the source of our conversations when we get together."

Richard has an offer from his uncle's alma mater, and speaks highly of the Bulldogs despite the fact that they haven't really come after him that hard as of yet.

"Coach (Tony) Ball is my area recruiter. I hear from him. He came down to my school once before the dead period," he said. "Then Coach (John) Lilly, the tight ends coach, I hear a little bit from him and then I am really good friends with Coach (Mark) Richt. I don't have an order but Georgia is definitely in the mix. I like the coaches and I like the university a lot. I like Georgia but I can't really put them in an order right now."

As is the case with most juniors, the start of the New Year should be very busy for Richard as it will be a prime opportunity to see as many campuses as possible.

"I plan on trying to get down to some places. I don't know where I'm going yet. It just depends on the dates and see what happens," he said. "I know a lot of these things are on the same day so you kind of have to make a decision on where you want to go."

When he visits each campus, Richard already has a good idea of what he is looking for, but definitely plans to place an emphasis on education and playing time.

"Mostly it is about the depth chart and where I can go play," he said. "I also want to see the offense and the coaches and how they are. Last, but definitely not least, it is about the education. That is very important."

Coming out of a spread offense at Calvary Day, some might thing that the 2014 standout is looking to stay in that type of system.

Richard realizes that there are a lot of different facets to playing tight end position, but the prospect of catching passes is something that intrigues him.

"It really doesn't matter what kind of offense I play in," he said. "I mean, as a tight end you want to catch passes and make plays, so you want to go to a program where you do that."

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