Milan Richard decided that he already knew where he wanted to go and decided not to wait any longer. This ends our Tight End recruiting for this cycle. Richard is the nephew of the great Herschel Walker, and both of his parents attended Georgia, so this is really a steal. Clemson finished second for Walker's services one upon a time, so this is even sweeter. Richard was always on the top of the board, but it was a first-come, first-serve-type deal with he and Jeb Blazevitch. You all know I love Jeb, but one of the advantages to having Richard commit is the connections he has within the state of Georgia. He is good friends with DeShaun Watson, WR Kitt, and also LB Raekwon McMillan.
We talked early on about how this core group of Georgia players had a rapport and wanted to play together. Grabbing solid commits from these two only increases the likelihood of landing (and keeping) the others. With the announcement of Kitt coming early next month, this will send a ripple through the recruiting world that Clemson is legit again this cycle. Obviously the dates on Kitt and Richard were orchestrated by the staff, another good move to build momentum. But don't you love it when a recruit just calls it a day and says, "hey, why wait--I want to be Tiger?" I don't see him wavering on his commitment at all. He wanted to be his own man and he made this decision. You have to like that in the age of modern recruiting.
What do we know about Richard? He is an athletic freak at 6'3 230-235 (almost 6'4 actually). He will grow to be a 250lb type player easily in college. He has very good speed and can beat people down the seam. A match-up nightmare for Linebackers and even Safeties. He is only 6'3 but is very long so height will not be a problem, compared to a player like Kevin Crosby who just doesn't have the length to play the position long-term. Crosby will most likely end up at South Carolina (maybe North Carolina) and will most likely end up at LB despite what anyone promises. He has NFL potential as a Linebacker. Florida and Bama only wanted him as a LB.
Richard is an obvious comparison to Dwayne Allen, who Clemson also stole at the last minute from Georgia. Richard is a similar athlete, needs to continue to improve footwork and he is perhaps not as strong in the lower body at this point but Milan has excellent hands. He will most likely play the 3 for Chad because he can both run and catch and block--he will be a very versatile weapon. He shouldn't have a problem adjusting to blocking on the line in college either. Richard had his choice of schools to attend and could have gone anywhere. Tight end is not a deep position in recruiting this year, so this is a big get.
deserves a ton of credit as the recruiter of record. He was consistent for over a year, keeping on Milan and the family. Chad Morris and even ol Danny Pearman assisted on the recruiting, but Dabo also played a big role here in winning over the family and eventually pulling in his commitment.
We already havecommitted (although almost everyone projects him to play on the offensive line at Clemson). He is still deciding whether or not to visit Alabama who say they want him as a true tight end. Smith is a similar situation to Eric McClain who, it should be noted, is coming off a terrific spring and will provide us with some quality depth at tackle and at guard if needed. I wouldn't be surprised to see him push for time at either LT or RT this year.
Overall this is a great pick-up and helps build a solid foundation for 2014 to continue to build on.