Detroit Cass Tech cornerback Terry Richardson has already shown he is one of the top State of Michigan prospects to watch in the 2012 class at off-season combines and camps in the Midwest. Earlier this week the 5-9, 165-pound prospect went down south to show he can also compete with the top talent in other regions of the country.
"I went down to LSU and Alabama these past four days," Richardson reported. "I worked out for LSU on Sunday and Monday and I went and worked out for Alabama on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"I competed with some of the best in the south and showed I can compete. I showed my coverage skills and my technique and I came away with an offer from both schools."
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Official offers cannot be extended to prospects in the Class of 2012 until next summer, but both Alabama and LSU made it clear to Richardson that he would have an opportunity to play for their schools. The Crimson Tide was the first of the two schools to clarify they intentions to offer.
"Basically they told me that they were going to offer me and I would have an opportunity to play for Alabama," Richardson said. "Nick Saban offered me and told me I would get the opportunity. He said he liked my skills and all the things I displayed as far as ball skills, technique and footwork.
"After Alabama pulled the trigger, LSU said 'We like him too.' They said next time I come down there they will tell me in person that they offered, but for right now they did offer."
Richardson was accompanied on the trip by Cass Tech assistant coach Charleston Fobbs. The time spent at both schools' camps gave the rising junior a chance to work with the secondary coaches at those programs.
"At LSU I worked a lot with Coach [Ron] Cooper," Richardson said. "He took us through a series of drills, showed us technique and was overall trying to let us showcase our skills. They call their one-on-one's and 7-on-7's 'opportunity sessions', and I impressed him.
"Down at Alabama I was working out with Coach [Nick] Saban a lot and Coach [Jeremy] Pruitt. I just showed all the coaching staff down there that I could ball and I came away with the love I was looking for."
Alabama features the nation's most recent Heisman Trophy winner in Mark Ingram, who is a Michigan native. LSU, however, has former Cass Tech lineman Joe Barksdale on their roster and Richardson was able to spend time with Barksdale during his time in Baton Rouge.
"I worked out for two sessions, then we went over to Joe Barksdale's apartment and sat down and talked. We got a chance to catch up with him, talk to him and chill with him, so that was real cool," Richardson said. "He said that when it comes down to it I've got to make my own decision and I should look into all the programs I get offered by.
"I didn't get a chance to meet with the man I wanted to meet: Mark Ingram. I did meet with Dre Kirkpatrick, John Fulton and all the players that were there working out in the weight room. They showed some love."
Richardson had made several visits to in-state programs Michigan and Michigan State, and his trip south gave the Detroit native a chance to compare programs in the SEC with programs in the Big Ten.
"It showed me that there is more to the world that you've got go see," Richardson said. "I went down there, checked it out and I loved the facilities and the campuses. At both schools it is more of a family atmosphere. It's a little bit different from up north schools and it was just a great opportunity for me to go down there and experience it."
Prior to his most recent offers, Richardson had been extended a verbal offer from Iowa. He is done taking trips this summer, but does plan to resume campus visits in the fall.
"The only trips I will be taking now is just down for games," Richardson said. "I will be at LSU's first game, I will be at the Alabama vs. Penn State game and I will be at the Ohio State vs. Miami game."