September 13, 2011

Richardson Had a Ball Under the Lights

Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech defensive back Terry Richardson was in Ann Arbor for Michigan's season-opening victory over Western Michigan. The Wolverine commitment made a return visit over the weekend to see his future team take on Notre Dame, and was anticipating big things out of the game.

Despite lofty expectations, the game more than lived up to the hype.

Richardson took full advantage of the opportunity to build relationships with other members of the class of 2012. Michigan's recruiting class is full of players from Michigan and Ohio, many of whom he already knows. However, he also got the chance to build relationships with some future teammates he met for the first time.

Despite a visitor list heavy on Michigan commitments, there were also a few prospects in attendance that have yet to come to a college decision. Richardson did his best to help convince some of those players to commit to the Wolverines.

Elite offensive lineman Zach Banner from Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes High School and wide receiver Jordan Payton of Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian Academy were the weekend's official visitors, and Payton cited Richardson as one of the Michigan commitments recruiting him hardest.

Of course, the night wasn't just about recruiting. The Wolverines and Irish played a classic 35-31 game, and Michigan didn't score the winning points until just two seconds remained on the clock. Richardson was most impressed by Michigan's comeback from a three-score deficit in the fourth quarter.

The coaching staff's defensive focus has struck a chord with Richardson. He's excited to see that the players are absorbing what is being taught in practice, and thinks it will lead to more improvement on the defensive side of the ball in the future.

It wasn't a perfect performance on that side of the ball, however. Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd caught 13 passes for 159 yards, and the secondary still has room for improvement. Starting cornerback Troy Woolfolk graduates following the 2011 season, so Richardson knows that there will be an opportunity to step in and earn some playing time.

Michigan fans will be glad to see him on the field making those plays in maize-and-blue next season.

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