Over the summer, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh embarked on an 11-camp, 10-day coaching marathon that travelled across the United States. During this exhaustive stretch of satellite camps, Harbaugh watched senior cornerback Antwaine Richardson work out in Florida and perform well enough to earn a scholarship offer — all with a torn ACL.
Richardson, who is 6-foot and 165 pounds, suffered his knee injury during Atlantic High’s spring game in May. Since that time, Richardson has worked to rehabilitate his knee injury as quickly as possible.
“It’s been going good,” Richardson told Today’s U. “The first couple of weeks were tough because I wasn’t used to not working out or running, so I had to adapt to that. I had to accept that I’m injured and had to work my way back up. After that I started doing weight training to help my quads, hamstrings and calves grow. Then two months later I started jogging.”
Although his team went without the three-star prospect’s prowess in coverage, Atlantic accomplished a 10-0 regular season record and advanced to the third round of the playoffs. The last time Richardson was on the field, though, was during his workout for the Michigan staff, a memory that “felt good” at the time despite his ailment.
“Seeing [Jim] Harbaugh, a former NFL coach, was exciting,” Richardson said. ” Seeing him and working out and having him watch me and saying that I’m good enough to get into Michigan, it felt good. He’s coached NFL players, so he sees something that I have. That felt good, and then the other coaching staff was really cool. They told me to give 100-percent every drill even though I was tired, but they told me to go 100-percent. Things just worked out well after that.”
Ranked as the No. 82 cornerback in the country by 247Sports.com, Richardson had many options before he committed. Schools such as Miami, Rutgers, West Virginia and Wisconsin had all offered Richardson, putting his offer list well over 10 schools. Michigan stuck out due to a childhood affinity for the Wolverines, however.
“I always wanted to go to Michigan to play football and get an offer from Michigan,” Richardson said. “Having coach Harbaugh the head coach there really brought my attention to going there. I looked up some information about Michigan to see if I would fit at that school and how the coaching staff is, They are really cool people. Spending four years there with them, I know it’s going to be a great experience.”
Although Richardson has not visited yet, the three-star cornerback will be taking his official visit to Michigan next Friday. Despite his injury, the Wolverines’ staff is eager to get him on campus.
“They told me they still want me up there,” Richardson said. “I’m early-enrolling into Michigan in January, so I’ll be doing some rehab up there soon. Hopefully I get into spring ball with them.”
Earlier this week, Maryland announced that Michigan defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin would take over as the Terrapins’ head coach. This move surprised Richardson, who had heard a lot from Durkin throughout the recruiting process.
“I was kind of shocked,” Richardson said. “That defense was different from last year. It was two different defenses. I was shocked because he really turned the defense around. Everything happens for a reason. I know he will be a good head coach at Maryland. I’m happy for him.”
In the meantime, Michigan has moved Chris Partridge to linebacker coach for the bowl game. This allows Partridge to visit prospects on the recruiting trail, and Richardson received a visit from the staffer on Friday.
“I met him before at the camp,” Richardson said. “They did good this year, so I asked him how the team improved and whats the difference from last year to this year. We talked about people and our teammates, stuff like that. We just caught up.”
With a vacancy at the defensive coordinator position, Richardson did touch on that position during his conversation with Partridge.
“He did tell me that they will try to find someone using the same defense,” Richardson said. “One that is aggressive. He didn’t give me any info as to who they will take.”