April 7, 2008

2010 DE Richards has Tech ties

When you first take a look at Jackson Richards' 6-foot-4, 240-pound frame, it's hard to believe that he's only 16 years old. You would expect someone his size to be dominating high school competition, but you wouldn't expect it to come from a sophomore. Even so, it probably wouldn't even be that big of a shock that a 16 year old manchild was wreaking havoc on opponents if we were talking about 2A football, but we're not talking about 2A football, we're talking about 5A powerhouse Southlake Carroll.

Then again, Richards isn't your average high school sophomore, so get used to being a little bit surprised.

Richards earned a starting position at defensive end last season on a senior laden Southlake Carroll team, becoming one of the first sophomores in recent memory to earn a 1st string position for the Dragons. One look at his film quickly reveals that Richards was determined to make his coaches look smart for starting him, and he succeeded. But remember how we told you he was full of surprises? Well, he's not your everyday, run of the mill, too big for his britches football star. To hear him tell it, he was just in the right place at the right time.

"Oh, it's really no big deal," he said of his starting role. "It was just a deal where we needed players there and I needed to step up and help my team and my teammates and I was fortunate enough to have that opportunity."

The 2010 prospect certainly made the most of his opportunity, and now that his sophomore film is circulating, the recruiting front is heating up rapidly, and it was recruiting that brought him and his parents to Lubbock this weekend for Tech's first scrimmage of the spring.

"It was really good," he said afterwards. "Everyone looked real good for it being their first full scrimmage. It seemed like there was a whole lot of energy out there."

Though it was his first time to visit as a recruit, Richards actually explained to us that this wasn't his first time in Lubbock.

"I liked everything I saw today," he said. "But, I mean, I've always liked the facilities, I've always liked everything about it down here."

As it turns out, the star defensive end has several ties to Texas Tech. His dad holds a degree from the University, and with family ties in nearby Olton, Richards is no stranger to Texas Tech. He also has a unique relationship with strength and conditioning coach Aaron Uzzell.

"I've known Aaron for a really long time," he explained. "My dad used to be a cyclist, and Aaron is a cyclist, so they met through that, and just started talking, and then before my 8th grade year, I came down for a little while and worked with Aaron and he showed me all the weights stuff I needed to be doing and everything. Then I came down again the year before last and we've just kept in touch since then and become good friends."

As for the business of recruiting, Richards says he hasn't given any thought as to when he wants to make a decision, but says that there are a few schools as of now that have caught his eye.

"Tech's definitely up there," he said. "They're probably up at the very top, I love Tech. And then I kind of have a little interest in Texas A&M and then Oklahoma and Oklahoma State too. And I kind of like South Carolina for some reason. I know that's random, but I just kind of like them, I don't know why. But I'm probably too young to be focusing on all that, I just need to focus on becoming a better player and on next season and let the rest take care of itself."

Jackson Richards seems to have made a habit of becoming excellent at whatever he sets his mind to, and looks to be one of the top defenders in the entire state for next year's class, so stay tuned to RedRaiderSports.com for the latest breaking news concerning his recruitment.

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