The long, strange journey of the immensely talented but problematic Nu’keese Richardson could be winding its way back to the Div. 1-A level in the not-too-distant future, the Palm Beach Post reports.
Richardson was a highly-touted member of Lane Kiffin‘s one and only Tennessee recruiting class in 2009, but was dismissed from the Volunteers following an arrest for attempted armed robbery his freshman year. He ultimately landed at Hampton and participated in spring practice in 2010, but abruptly left the school without informing his coaches. He then surfaced at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, but left that school after one semester.
He now plans on attending Palm Beach State College and, if he can get his associate’s degree, he would be eligible to play immediately at the Div. 1-A level in 2011. And, despite his rocky history, there are still schools who have shown a great deal of interest in the circus he brings to campus.
According to the Post, and citing his high school coach, Richardson has offers from both Syracuse and Kansas, and could land at one of those schools in time for the 2011 season. USF had also shown interest, but, in a “gee I wonder why?” moment, has scaled back their interest considerably.
If it were “just” the robbery charge — which he ultimately pleaded guilty to reduced charges and received three years probation — the interest level in the former the former four-star wide receiver/cornerback would likely be higher. But, as the Post points out, there were a couple of other issues that have dogged Richardson since leaving Knoxville.
… He later admitted to problems with alcohol and marijuana while at Tennessee.
After his issue at Tennessee, Richardson had two negative incidents with social media. He posted a video on his Twitter account in May that showed him and his friends removing a t-shirt from its packaging and putting it on under their other clothes, though Richardson said they later paid for it. He was not prosecuted.
Last fall, he published a photo of himself on Facebook in which he is in the driver’s seat of a parked car while holding an open can of alcohol. He was 19 or younger at the time of the picture.
Add all of it up — the arrest and dismissal from UT, leaving another school without the courtesy of a call and everything else — and Richardson is a sizable risk for any school that decides to take a flier on him and his talent. If he’s changed his life, though, it has the makings of a home-run signing. Buyer beware, though; if he hasn’t done an about-face, there’s going to be one helluva mess to clean up.