Richardson Rising

By Michael Gresko
Dec. 04, 2017

Amir Richardson has been overlooked and doubted by others his whole life. He has used all of those negative words that people have said to him as fuel to become a better player on and off the field. The Morgantown native is only a junior at University High School, where he had a stellar season. The three-star safety recruit was the focal point of the Hawks’ offense, and he embraced it throughout the season. Taking on double coverage and sometimes even triple coverage, he was still able to wreak havoc for opposing defenses and ultimately reach the endzone.

Richardson hasn’t always been a big name on the field. He wasn’t rated until just this season, when he received his first collegiate offer from West Virginia University. Richardson also holds another offer from Marshall University. He knew he had the size, speed, and strength, but Richardson knew he was being overlooked by other college coaches and scouts.

When asked about how he was able to perform so well this year knowing that defenses were going to target him, he responded with, “I was able to perform so well this year because of all of the work I put in during the offseason, and the great connection I had with my QB.”

Just like any other high school athlete, Amir has a dream of playing at the next level, and with this young athlete, he understands the value of hard work. Richardson is not one to be outworked by any other player on the field, and that’s a trait college coaches look for in high school athletes. “My drive is to play college football, and that’s always been my ultimate goal.” The drive the kid has is unlike many other student athletes across the country. After a quiet sophomore season, he worked all winter, spring, and summer to be the best that he could be coming into his junior year. With a target on his back, he recorded 48 receptions for 714 yards to go along with 15 touchdowns.

Defensively, Richardson is the one player that quarterbacks have their eyes on at all times. The 6’2”, 200 pound safety intercepted opposing quarterbacks two times throughout the season, mainly because teams didn’t even throw his way. Richardson also recorded 42 tackles, while sacking the quarterback three times.

After leading his team to a perfect season and a quarterfinal appearance in the West Virginia AAA Playoffs, Richardson has more on his mind for next year. “I want to win the Kennedy Award next year, and my team’s goal is to win a state championship.” The Kennedy Award is given to West Virginia’s most valuable player each year, and if Richardson were to win it, then he would be the first player from University High to take home the trophy, which has been given out annually since 1947.

The 2017 University Hawks set the bar high for future teams, as they completed their perfect regular season at 10-0, clinched their first ever OVAC 5A Championship, and won the yearly Mohawk Bowl against city-rival Morgantown High School by a final score of 38-19.

Amir Richardson was known throughout the state of West Virginia when the season kicked off, but he became known across America when he made a tremendous catch Week 2 against Parkersburg South. University had the ball on South’s six yard-line when Clay Bailey threw a fade to the corner of the endzone for Richardson who was in one-on-one coverage. Richardson went up for the ball with a defender draped on his arm, and that’s when he reached up with one hand and pinned the ball against his facemask. He was able to come down with the ball and maintain control of it throughout the entire process of the catch. The touchdown reception went viral, and was soon featured on Sportscenter’s Top 10.

Richardson has not committed to a college yet, but after attending camps in the offseason he is expecting more offers to come flowing in. Rivals, which is a top website for recruiting information, says that Richardson is receiving interest from Alabama, Pittsburgh, Toledo, and Virginia to go along with the two offers he currently holds.