On the eve of the National Semifinals, the whole city and region is abuzz with talk about the…
SMU Lands Richard
Lincoln Richard, the nation's 85th-ranked defensive end prospect, is the third DE commit in SMU's 2012 recruiting class. All three of the ends are Texas products, with Richard joining Brian Cramer (6-4, 230) of Round Rock Stony Point and Elie Nabushosi (6-4, 240) of Frisco Heritage. All three prospects are rated three stars; Cramer is ranked No. 125 nationwide among the DEs and Nabushosi is No. 94. Scout's Erin Hartigan, who has interviewed Richard and seen him in action, says that he's gotten bigger over the past few months. Richard was previously listed at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, but Hartigan says he's grown significantly since then. "I saw Richard in the first game of the year against Highland Park and then a month later against Arlington Seguin," said Hartigan, who extensively covers recruiting in the Midlands Region. "He definitely has the size. Richard is around 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds. He actually put on noticeable, good muscle mass between the first and second games that I attended. His speed is in the 4.8 to 4.9 range. I'd like to see him get quicker and work on his agility, but at the same time he can be cat-like on the field. "You see some defensive ends who can flat-out fly. Although Richard isn't as fast as some of them, once he gets going it's like a train coming at an opponent. He can take two guys down at once; I saw him tackle two guys at one time. The kid is built like a brickhouse. He has little bad weight on his frame, and his coach says he lives in the weight room. While he was battling an ankle injury, Richard spent even more time in the weight room because he was held out of contact in practice. That impressed me, the way he was working harder to improve despite being injured." SCOUT'S TAKE: On film, Richard lines up at a variety of positions, including inside linebacker. In pass coverage, he doesn't take long to dissect the play and has the speed to catch up to action halfway across the field. Does a nice job of slipping blocks and getting through traffic in the middle of the field. Displays uncanny instincts by stripping the ball from a back who is sprinting down the field full throttle. At defensive end, Richard relentlessly pursues action to the other side and, as a result, gets rewarded with the occasional unhindered, blindside shot on an unsuspecting ballcarrier. Richard is able to easily knock an offensive tackle to the ground with a shove at the point of attack. On a run up the middle, Richard - unblocked by design on the play - was able to move laterally down the line and snuff out the play at the line of scrimmage. Richard is a true hybrid DE/LB who looks equally natural at either position. He can play all three linebacker positions and defensive end, which is quite unusual. His versatility makes him extremely valuable.
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