football

Richards returns to first love

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The Chris Richards saga has been one of the more interesting recruiting stories of the year. In the past 72 hours, the Monroe (Calif.) defensive back has gone from a Michigan soft commit, to Cal commit back to a solid Michigan commit.
"I'll tell you what, it has definitely been interesting around here," Richards' father, Chris Sr. said. "When I went through this same process when I was in high school, it was nothing like this. It just seems like there is so much more pressure for the kids now and I don't think Chris ever really realized that until this week.
"Basically, when he committed to Michigan, he felt that was it, end of story. Cal wasn't really recruiting him until late in the process, sometime around December. In hind sight, I really wish we could have gone through the process with Cal because we really gained a lot of respect for them and I tell you what, Coach Tedford is an absolute class act and the way he handled himself in this situation, I have so much respect for him.
"At the time Chris visited Cal, he still didn't have an offer, he was just going up there to have a good time and that's what he did. He wasn't really thinking about going there because he didn't think they were going to offer. When they did offer him on the visit, all of a sudden everything changed.
"Chris really started to like Cal a lot and was comparing the visit with Michigan. He said he related better with the players at Cal and said it was a more relaxed environment. He loved their Law program and the fact that I went to Cal and it's the school he grew up liking, I think all of that emotion got to him and he decided Cal was the best place for him on Wednesday.
"Almost instantly, he started to second guess himself and I could tell he wasn't at peace with his decision. We talked more about the two schools and the thing I tried to tell him was it wasn't fair to compare the two trips because he went to Michigan on a game weekend. Of course the players are going to be a little more tense, they were about to prepare to play Iowa, whereas at Cal, he was the only recruit there, it was after the season, so yeah, it was a much more relaxed atmosphere.
"I think once Chris took some of the emotion out of it and really broke down what he liked about both schools, Michigan was again on top. He was about 60-40 for Michigan yesterday before we talked with Ron (English) again and after talking with Ron, Chris really felt good about his decision. He had some trepidation when it was Cal and with Michigan, he doesn't have that now so I know he feels good about this.
"Like I said, Cal is a great school and it would have been great to have gone through this process with them from the beginning. I really think a college choice is a long thought out process and he had that with Michigan, with Cal, really he only had a month or so to get to know the program. The decision is final now, he's done and it's Michigan. He's looking forward to playing in front of the crowd and with the tradition Michigan has, I think our whole family just felt Michigan was the place that offered him the best chance to be successful with football and without."
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