February 15, 2010

Richardson eager to learn more about Vols, new staff

The state of Virginia has been good to the Tennessee football program over the years. Tennessee dove back into Virginia earlier this month to steal talented wide receiver Justin Hunter, who had previously been an LSU commitment. With the focus clearly on the class of 2011, Newport News, Va., athlete Clifton Richardson already has an offer from Tennessee.

The early buzz has been more than noticeable for Richardson.

"It's a lot," Richardson said. "I'm getting letters every day. It's exciting. I like all the attention because it tells me I'm doing things the right way on the football field."

Richardson has offers from Tennessee, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Miami and several others. That doesn't count the numerous teams that have inquired about him. But what makes him so coveted?

"I'm just good with the ball in my hands," Richardson said. "I feel like I can do anything with the ball in my hands. I'm good at making plays and getting between the tackles or getting out in space. I love to get in the end zone."

Richardson played running back last year, but that will change for his senior season. He will move back to the position that he played as a sophomore -- quarterback.

"A lot of teams would put nine and 10 men in the box when I played quarterback," Richardson said. "We got a transfer in last year and it made more sense for me to play running back."

The Vols were one of the first teams to offer Richardson. But that was under the previous staff. He had a good relationship with former Tennessee assistant Willie Mack Garza. Tennessee is a school that he hopes to take a long and hard look at.

"I don't know too much, but they are someone I'd like to get to know better," Richardson said. "I'm not sure if they are going to honor my scholarship offer since they have a new staff. I'm waiting to hear from them."

Richardson says he can see himself leaving Virginia to play college football. But it will more than likely be a long time before he pulls the trigger on any kind of decision.

"I'm going to take my time," Richardson said. "I don't want to commit and then de-commit because that doesn't show very well for anyone that does that. I'm going to take my visits and not rush things. When I find the right school, I'll know and I'll commit then."

Richardson is focused on trying to turn things around for his high school finale. The previous three seasons have been spent under .500 and he wants to go out on a winning season.

"We've been lacking big offensive linemen," Richardson said. "We have the athletes. We just have to be dedicated and hungry. We have to put in those extra reps in the weight room and the extra time after practice. I know we can do it."

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