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June 1, 2005

Clayton Richard gives up on football

Clayton Richard, 0-1 with a 2.51 ERA for the Michigan baseball team this season, will forego the remainder of his college career to play professional baseball, he told the Lafayette Journal and Courier. "I hope to sign and go play baseball and make that what I do," Richard said at last week's Big Ten Conference tournament in Champaign, Ill. "Hopefully, that's going to work out."

"We thought we had a good idea two or three years ago (coming out of high school) and we saw how that went."

Michigan baseball coach Rich Maloney said he hopes Richard sticks around for another baseball season with the Wolverines before making the move.

"He's a year away from being a real polished pitcher," Maloney said. "Right now, he's more of a hard thrower. Because he sat out for so long, he hasn't had a chance to really develop his command and his third pitch.

"He's given us some great innings. We love him. I think he's a year away from being the pitcher I think he might be."

Richard started two games before he was switched back to the bullpen. He's struck out 26 batters in 321/3 innings.

"It's different," Richard said of moving from starter to reliever. "It's a role that I have to accept and do the work I can to get better."

The Major League Baseball draft will be held next week.

For the entire article from the Journal and Courier, click here: Clayton Richard.

And for more on Richard and his draft potential, read what Baseball America's Jim Callis had to say about him in The Fort

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