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Florida ‘up there’ for Mark-Antony Richards
Every year Florida coach Dan Mullen looks for prospects who can play the “Percy position,” a versatile receiver/running back role that featured former Gators WR Percy Harvin from 2006-08.
It was Jacob Copeland in the last class, and now it’s top-50 overall recruit Mark-Antony Richards. The 4-star athlete from Wellington High School (West Palm Beach, Fla.) could play running back or wide receiver at the next level, but Mullen and his staff don’t want to limit Richards to one position.
“They compare me to a Percy Harvin type of player. That’s kind of how my high school uses me,” Richards told SEC Country. “I think that’s one of the things they’re missing [at Florida], so hopefully I can do that if I come here. It means a lot because I grew up watching him.
“The coaches asked me what position I wanted to play and I told them running back or receiver in the slot. They said I’m the type of player that needs the ball in space and that’s what they want to try to do with me.”
Richards is ranked the nation’s No. 4 athlete and No. 43 overall prospect in the 247Sports composite. Last Saturday he was in attendance for the Orange & Blue Game, which was his first time visiting Florida since Friday Night Lights last summer.
“It was pretty cool and the experience was kind of different from my last time,” Richards said. “Coach Mullen had a lot of great things to say and the rest of the coaching staff treated me like family. The atmosphere here just for a spring game was pretty cool.
“I just wanted to hear what they had to say and give them an opportunity like I give every other school. They took advantage of that. Florida is up there for me now. Just keep doing what they’re doing.”
Richards is one of several elite recruits who visited Florida this spring. Mullen and his staff have been attracting more blue-chip talent than the previous coaches, and Richards explained why.
“Telling the truth,” Richards said. “Coach Mullen told me in his office that he’s not going to tell me any lies. He’s not going to sell me on something I want just for me to commit. He’s going to tell the truth. … That’s what he has been doing with me and other recruits and that’s one of the things we like about him.
“There’s a lot of guys who are going to commit to Florida. If I were one of them, that would be amazing. A lot of guys talk great about Florida and that’s one of the reasons I had to get up here and see it myself.”
— XXI (@Mark21Richards) April 15, 2018
Mark-Antony Richards naming top 10
Richards could become a potential commit for the Gators, but not any time soon.
The 6-foot-1, 194-pound prospect plans to announce his top 10 this summer and will make a decision near the end of his senior season.
“It could in November, December, or January. Somewhere in between there,” Richards siad. “I’m going to try enrolling early. Not sure yet, though. I’m looking for a school that has a family feel. A place where I feel comfortable with the people and the surroundings.”
Richards has that comfort level with the Gators and said he will “probably” officially visit Florida, as well as Penn Sate. He also holds offers from the likes Auburn, Georgia, Oregon and Ohio State, but Miami is considered the team to beat in his recruitment.
His older brother, Ahmmon Richards, plays wide receiver for the Hurricanes.
“Most people think it’s because my brother goes there, but that’s not really a huge factor in my recruitment,” Richards said. “He understands and he tells me to go somewhere I feel comfortable. He doesn’t care if it’s Miami or Alabama.
“Him being there is awesome for me, but I’m a leader. I can’t be a follower. I have to go where I feel comfortable.”
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