Los Alamitos High School's Shaquille Richardson used the spring evaluation period to show he's one of the top defensive backs on the West coast. After a junior season that saw him earn second-team all-league honors, Richardson's hit the camp scene and made a big impression. It all began at the NIKE Training Camp held at the University of Southern California in April, where he took home defensive backs MVP.
It wasn't long after his outstanding performance at USC that the first offer from Utah came his way. However, Richardson wasn't done and had solid performances at both UCLA and Washington, again earning offers. Now up to seven, Richardson has become a hot commodity and is feeling the Huskies.
"I have been talking with coach [Demetrice] Martin since February," explained Richardson. "Holt actually recruits my area for them, but I have been talking to coach Martin for longer. Then I went to Washington for a one-day camp and called the coaches when I got back to California. I must have performed well because they offered me.
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"I really like the campus, the architecture of the buildings, the trees and mountains. The whole place was really nice."
But in the end, like most of Washington's targets, the coaching staff has set the Huskies apart in Richardson's eyes.
"The coaches are the thing I like best about Washington," he said. "Coach Martin is a great position coach and I love Holt's defense. He really likes to play man-to-man and press the receivers. That is what I love to do so I would fit in."
The Huskies are on a recruiting roll and just last week gained commitments from four-star quarterback Nick Montana, four-star athlete Keanon Lowe, and local standouts Colin Porter, and Michael Hartvigson. Their recruiting efforts have surpassed most people's expectations, but Richardson is not surprised.
"I am not surprised knowing the coaches. They come from a great program and I expected them to be successful. Just the way they are recruiting me has been amazing and you would never guess they were 0-12. They present themselves so well and you just expect success. I don't think many recruits are worried about last season at all."
Now that his recruitment has heated up, what is Richardson looking for from his future school?
"The first thing I'm looking for is a good education, because I want to get my degree. Then I really need to feel comfortable with the coaches and I want it to feel like a family. I have to be comfortable living there for the next four years. I really want it to be welcoming and feel like home.
"I also pay attention to the depth chart and my goal is to play as a freshman then start as a sophomore. If I get a chance to make an early impact at a school it will weigh into my decision. It's not everything, but I will consider it."
Richardson isn't ready to narrow down his list, but did say he's planning an official visit to Washington in the fall.