The whirlwind recruiting process is about to come to an end for Antonio Richardson.
Rated the state’s top football prospect by Rivals.com and most other outlets, the mammoth 6-foot-6, 315-pound offensive/defensive tackle talked about his hectic recruiting period earlier this week.
“It’s been a really wild process,” Richardson said after classes at Pearl-Cohn High. “It seems like it’s been a very long time to get to this point, and it is finally shrinking down to the final day.
“But I’m thankful for it, because, I’ve really enjoyed making my visits and meeting so many nice people.”
With signing day looming Wednesday, Richardson recently narrowed his list to five schools — LSU, Tennessee, Miami (Fla.), Auburn and Georgia. His final official visit was to Georgia last weekend and he called it “a good visit.”
He has spent lots of time pondering over his ultimate decision.
“There’s so many coaches I’ve talked to, people I’ve talked to. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent on my cell phone,” Richardson. who took a call during the interview, said. “I want to make the decision to go to a school where I will be happy, be with good people and get a good education because that’s where I’m going to spend my next four years. How well I fit into the program, that’s so important.’’
According to some posts by Rivals and Scout.com, his choice is said to be between Georgia and UT.
This weekend, he has no visits — but expectss to do a lot of soul searching.
After his well-documented, late-October transfer from Ensworth High to Pearl-Cohn, ostensibly to improve his grades, Richardson has apparently done just that.
“I recently made a 21 on my ACT, which was enough to get me qualified,” he said. “I am making straight A’s in school. I am almost certain I’ll have a decision made by signing day [Wednesday].
“I am appreciative for [Pearl-Cohn] Coach Tony Brunetti, who has been a role model for me and, along with my father, has helped guide me in the right direction.”
“I wanted to give him a plan to be successful,” Brunetti said. “He’s made a 21 on his ACT and is doing very well in the classroom. He’s a really good kid.”
The energetic Brunetti talked about another harvest of players he is expecting to see sign next week.
“We could have as many as 14 guys sign next week, anywhere from DI to junior college schools,” he said. “Over these five years, we’ve had about 40 kids to sign.”
According to Brunetti, these Pearl-Cohn players will sign or are close to committing:
• Wide receiver Nick Hill will sign with Duke.
• Offensive/defensive tackle David Huey will sign with Western Kentucky.
• Defensive back Senquay Eichelberger will sign with TSU.
• Defensive end Jeremy Knight will sign with TSU.
• Defensive back Richard Taylor is considering an offer to UT-Martin.
• Linebacker Nick Dance is lately considering an offer from Western Michigan after other offers from Marshall, Murray State and UT-Martin.
• Linebackers and twins Robert Clay and Reggie Clay will “probably” sign with Alcorn State (Miss.).
• Running back DeAnthony Hall (1,500 yards rushing) is expected to sign with Independence Community College (Kansas).
• Defensive end Juwaun Marindale is considering an offer from D-II St. Augustus (N.C.).
• Safety Jestin Williams is considering offers from UT-Martin, Samford, Western Michigan and Alcorn State.
• Quarterback Jawaun Wilson is considering an offer from Lyndsey-Wilson.