Nu'Keese Richardson

Ex-Vol Nu’Keese Richardson to give NAIA ball a go


When last we heard from Nu’Keese Richardson, he had dropped down from the FBS level to the JUCO ranks in an attempt to restart what was at one time a promising playing career.

Well over two years later, Richardson has tumbled even further down the football food chain.

Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post writes that “Richardson is enrolled at the University of Pikeville… and plans to go through spring football in April.”  The Kentucky school plays football at the National Association of Collegiate Athletics (NAIA) level.

“He just got here a couple weeks ago, and we’re glad we got him,” Pikeville receivers coach Justin Lamb told Lieser. “We have a coach from Florida, so he knew Nu’Keese and knew he was a great athlete. Once he realized he had nowhere to go, we got him here. We think he’s a great addition.”

The NAIA step is latest twist in the up-and-down (mostly down) career of Richardson.

A four-star member of Tennessee’s 2009 recruiting class and rated as one of the top receivers in the country, Richardson lasted less than one season with the Vols as he was dismissed by then-head coach Lane Kiffin following an arrest for attempted armed robbery.  He moved on to Hampton University in Virginia and participated in spring practice in 2010, but shortly thereafter he abruptly left the school — without telling his coaches.

Later that same year, he enrolled at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, but left that school after one semester.

While there were reports in January of 2011 that schools such as Kansas and Syracuse were interested, Richardson has essentially been off the football grid for nearly three years.  He had also been expected to enroll at Palm Beach State College in an attempt to earn an associate degree, although it’s unclear if he ever took that step.

According to Lieser, Richardson stated last year that he “was finished with athletics and hoped to move into the workforce.”

B1G cops to ‘breakdown in officiating mechanics’ in Nebraska-Illini game

CHAMPAIGN, IL - OCTOBER 3: Members of the Illinois Fighting Illini celebrate after defeating the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Champaign, Illinois.  Illinois defeated Nebraska 14-13. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
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The Big 12 wasn’t the only conference acknowledging shoddy officiating and offering up mea culpas after Week 5.

In a press release sent out Monday, the Big Ten, to the surprise of no one, confirmed that it’s crew in the Nebraska-Illinois game Saturday screwed up, although they used the phrase “breakdown in officiating mechanics” to describe it.  On the Illini’s first series of the second half of their win over the Cornhuskers, the chain gang and whoever is responsible upstairs failed to award the Illini a first down on a three-yard run on second and one.

The Illini in turn ran the next two plays as if it were first and second down when in actuality they were thought to be third and fourth downs by the officiating crew, the chain gang and those monitoring the game.  As the fourth down-play-that-was-actually-third down didn’t net enough for a first down, the ball went back to the Cornhuskers on downs.

The kicker? writes that “[t]he original down and distance was reviewed and the crew still somehow managed to mess it up.”

The gaffe ultimately had no impact on the outcome, especially as the home team was concerned, as the Illini beat the ‘Huskers on a last-second touchdown. Below is the complete release from the conference.

Collegiate Officiating Consortium Coordinator of Officials Bill Carollo acknowledged a breakdown of officiating mechanics in regards to down and distance during the first series of the third quarter in the Nebraska at Illinois football game on Saturday, Oct. 3.

While officials on the field are responsible for the correct down, distance and oversight of the chain crew, it is also the responsibility of the replay officials to monitor the game administration and correct the number of a down and distance if inaccurate. If properly officiated, the Illinois football team would have had an additional down.

All officials in the Collegiate Officiating Consortium are graded and evaluated on every call of every game of the season. Errors of this nature have a significant impact on game assignments, bowl assignments and overall year-end status.

The Collegiate Officiating Consortium consists of the Big Ten, Mid-American and Missouri Valley Conferences. The consortium considers this matter concluded and will have no further comment.

Buckeye Down: WR Corey Smith done for the year

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Ohio State’s offense has been up and down when trying to throw the football, and today it lost another receiver for the rest of the season. Corey Smith will miss the rest of the 2015 season after being carted off the field with a leg injury in Ohio State’s road win at Indiana on Saturday.

On Monday, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer said the injury suffered by Smith was similar in nature to the one that sidelined another starting Buckeyes wide receiver, Noah Brown, before the start of the season. Brown injured his left leg in training camp. The nature of the injury was never confirmed but was believed to be a broken leg.

He had a similar injury to Noah Brown,” Meyer said. “And one of my favorite players, a guy that’s been through a lot in his life, certainly a lot here, but my heart bleeds for that guy and so do the rest of our team, a kid that really spills it — was on all special teams for us, played really, really hard. From what I understand there’s a chance we can get one more year back. We’re going to see what happens.”

Smith appeared in four games after serving a one-game suspension at the start of the season. In those four games, Smith caught five passes for 62 yards. He had been listed behind Michael Thomas on the Ohio State depth chart. Thomas is Ohio State’s leading receiver with 292 yards and four touchdowns. Now Ohio State is starting to become a bit thin at receiver.