KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee is looking to recapture its glory from the 1990s. Join us daily at SEC Country for the latest recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Volunteers.
Bryson Richardson wasn’t sure how the Tennessee-Alabama game would turn out, but the 3-star safety from Georgia was fairly confident he’d have the coaches smiling at some point Saturday night.
The 2018 prospect committed to the Volunteers after their 49-10 loss to the top-ranked Crimson Tide, completing a dream he’s had for several years.
“I’ve been up to Tennessee a lot. I kind of always knew deep down I was going to go to Tennessee,” said Richardson, who currently holds six offers.
“I really wanted to go to Tennessee. After the Florida game, it was exciting to get that win. Then I sat down and was thinking about it hard, talking to my family and my whole support system, and I kind of went into the Alabama game knowing I was going to commit.”
— Bryson Richardson (@2forty5) October 16, 2016
Tennessee was the second program to offer Richardson, who also attended a Vols satellite camp at his high school in Buford over the summer. The 6-foot, 185-pound junior quickly developed a close relationship with secondary coach Willie Martinez, and the safety couldn’t wait to deliver the news to Martinez on Saturday evening.
“After the game, all the coaches were talking to all the recruits, so I pulled coach Martinez aside real quick and said, ‘You know, I’ve thought about it long and hard, I want to be a Vol,’” Richardson recounted.
“He just told me, ‘Once you make this decision you have to be 100 percent in.’ And I told him, ‘Coach, I’m all in. 100 percent.’”
Once Richardson gave Butch Jones the good news, he said the locker room was suddenly “happy” and there were “all smiles and cheers.”
Richardson hails from Peach State powerhouse Buford, the same high school as Tennessee sophomores Austin Smith and Quay Picou. The high school junior is buddies with both defensive linemen, saying, “Austin and Quay, they kind of set the path for me to go to Tennessee. I’m real close with them. When I was a freshman, they were seniors. On top of that, I’m real close with coach Martinez. Every day, every week he DM’s me, texts me to see how I’m doing at practice, games or we just talk about life.”
Once Richardson gets to Tennessee, he expects to play a number of positions in the secondary for the Vols. Like most defensive backs Tennessee recruits, Richardson could play safety, corner or nickel.
“They see me in a hybrid (role). They want to see me compete all over the field,” he said.
Richardson has shut down his recruitment and is focused on finishing out his junior season and building a relationship with Tennessee’s other two 2018 commits — 5-star offensive tackle Cade Mays and 4-star athlete Alontae Taylor.
“I met Alontae and Cade at the game yesterday,” Richardson said. “It’s the early stages of building those strong relationships for that 2018 class. … I’m all Tennessee. I’m going to try to go up there as much as possible — even more than before.”