January 2, 2011

Richardson is ready to visit USC

Standing at 6-feet-6, 310 pounds, Nashville (Tenn.) offensive tackle Antonio Richardson is hard to miss.

His recruitment has imitated his stature.

Richardson is in San Antonio this week to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Though he was selected for his high school performance, his college prospects are also outstanding. Arkansas, Auburn, LSU, Miami and Tennessee all join USC as schools in hot pursuit of the four star prospect.

Lane Kiffin knows Richardson well after eying him last year as Tennessee's coach. Then a junior, Richardson came away impressed with Kiffin and his staff.

"Coach [James] Cregg was incredible," Richardson said. "My favorite out of all of them was Coach [Ed} Orgeron. That dude is wild. Coach Kiffin was cool and so was his dad. I had a great time when I first met them."

Though he was surprised as anyone to learn of Kiffin's departure, Richardson was not angered by his decision to leave the state.

"USC was his dream job, so I wasn't mad at him," Richardson said. "The staff represents the school well. But personality-wise, they haven't changed at all."

As one of the few schools not in the south involved in Richardson's recruitment, USC is an outlier. But Richardson is confident that distance will not be a concern. He plans on visiting USC before making up his mind.

"The name USC goes a long way," Richardson said. "The football program is great. The academic program is great. I'm looking forward to getting a feel for the school when I go visit."

The Trojans are in need of offensive tackles this year, and Richardson is the second-highest rated tackle still left on the board. USC can offer early exposure, but that may not be the ultimate selling point for Richardson.

"They say I'll either play left tackle or right tackle and have a chance to start right off the bat," Richardson said. "Playing time could play a bit of a factor, but it's not the biggest thing. Where I'm comfortable, that's the biggest thing."

USCfootball.com will continue to provide the latest on Richardson's week in San Antonio and recruitment.

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