Georgia should be considered a major option for his commitment, but just because his uncle is a Georgia legend doesn't mean that Richard is obligated to play for the Bulldogs.
Some recruits want to pave their own ways and create their own legacies.
Look no further than Barry Sanders' son, Barry J. Sanders, who committed to Stanford in 2012 instead of choosing Oklahoma State, where his father became a legend. Note: Sanders Jr. also chose the Cardinal over Florida State and Alabama
Legacy commitments are not always a forgone conclusion, so don't count Richard as part of Georgia's 2014 class just yet.
In fact, according to Kipp Adams of ESPN.com (subscription required), Richard just took a visit to Florida, and it went well:
“The trip to Florida was cool,” Richard said. “It was a spur of the moment type thing and I got to watch film with tight ends coach Derek Lewis and discussed personnel with him. I was able to speak briefly with Coach (Will) Muschamp and watched 20 minutes of practice before leaving for Orlando. Me and my parents loved the trip.”
Adams also reports that Richard may soon cut his interest list. Georgia is amongst his unofficial top schools right now, but so are a few other very formidable programs:
He is not close to making his commitment, but Richard might trim things down soon.
“I am not close to a decision but I am close to cutting my list and I do have five programs unofficially standout out right now,” Richard said. “Tennessee, South Carolina, Clemson, Georgia, Florida State are teams that stand out right now because they like to throw and spread the ball out.”
If Florida was to make an offer, look for the Gators to become a major player in Richard's recruiting process as well, especially considering their need at tight end. Adam's report states that tight ends coach Derek Lewis pitched Richard on the fact that the Gators are playing with two converted defensive ends at tight end right now.
Richard is also going to visit South Carolina this weekend and then Georgia the weekend after that, per Adams.
What are the odds that Richard doesn't commit to Georgia?
I wouldn't say they're high, because it still is tough to deny the draw Georgia will have for Richard, but I wouldn't say they're nonexistent, either.
Odds Richard doesn't commit to Georgia: Low
Georgia will be losing tight end Arthur Lynch in 2014, but it will still have Jay Rome, Ty Flournoy-Smith and 2013 3-star tight end Jordan Davis with plenty of eligibility left between them all.
As a talented tight end, you'd have to think that Richard would believe he can sign with Georgia and compete for playing time amongst that group, though, and in today's game, having multiple good tight ends is becoming huge. I'm not sure if the depth chart would necessarily be a big factor. There's always the possibility of taking a redshirt season and gaining that extra year of eligibility.
With that in mind, Tennessee, South Carolina, Clemson and Florida State are all rather set at tight end as well, so Georgia shouldn't be at a disadvantage in that regard.
Really, the only way I see Richard not committing to Georgia is if one of those programs can convince him that he can play a bigger role for them and win bigger games. Considering the fact that Georgia should be a championship contender for the next few seasons, only Florida and Florida State should really be a threat to make that pitch.
Finally, you have to consider Walker's impact on Richard's recruitment, and that's a plus only Georgia has.
Walker is a Georgia legend and Richard would have the chance to follow in his footsteps—just at a different position. He would be greeted with fanfare, celebration and respect by Georgia fans, and he would easily be a fan favorite because of his connection to the great Bulldogs running back.
Is Richard one of those recruits who wants to create his own path? I don't personally know the kid, so I don't know for sure. It sure seems like he's keeping his options open, and committing to Georgia isn't a forgone conclusion, so at the very least, him committing elsewhere has to be looked at as a potential reality.
It's undoubtedly a potential reality, but is it a realistic reality?
I'd say the odds of that happening are low.
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