The nephew of the most decorated player in UGA history, Herschel Walker, has been offered a football scholarship by archrival Georgia Tech.
Milan Richard is a 6-foot-2, 223-pound tight end from Savannah’s Calvary Day high school. His parents both ran track at UGA, and his mother Veronica is Herschel’s sister.
Georgia Tech is offer No. 9 for Richard, following UGA, South Carolina, NC State, UCLA, Vanderbilt, and Ole Miss, among others. Richard is a junior and considered one of the state’s top 20 prospects for 2014.
Calvary Day coach Mark Stroud was informed of the offer by Georgia Tech assistant Lamar Owens. Richard, who will likely talk directly to Georgia Tech early this week, is interested in what position he is projected to play, since the Yellow Jackets don’t employ a tight end in the triple-option offensive formation. His coach said it didn’t really matter.
“I don’t know what position Milan will play in college, I really don’t know,” Stroud told the AJC on Sunday night. “But I do know that he has all the physical attributes to be a great college football player.
“Where he plays and at what position, I don’t know what any of the college will end up doing with him. He’s a big guy who can really run. He’s great as a traditional tight end, or you could put him in the slot like we do. They may put some weight on him and put him down inside the tight end. They may put him at defensive end. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I know he’s got all the tools to make it happen.”
Richard plans to make an unofficial visit to Georgia Tech for the Nov. 17 game against Duke and wants to learn more about the Yellow Jackets.
“I know a little bit about their stuff,” Richard said. “I went to a game at Georgia Tech with my teammates two years ago. I know they run the triple option. I know Calvin Johnson went there; he’s one of my favorite players. I know they have big guys playing in the wide receiver role.”
What about UGA? As Herschel’s nephew, he gets asked that question all the time. Everybody thinks that it’s a foregone conclusion that Richard will one day be playing for the Bulldogs.
“Yes, both my parents went to Georgia – I grew up a Georgia fan and I’m still a Georgia fan,” Richard said. “But that does not determine where I am going to go to college.”
“I’m 100-percent undecided. I’m taking my time with the recruiting process. I don’t want to be the guy who commits early and then de-commits later. If it ends up being Georgia, then I’m going to go to Georgia and be happy. But if not, I’m going to be happy wherever else I go.”
His coach has heard all the talk about Richard being “automatic” for UGA, too. “I don’t know what he will do. He’s not made any indication that that’s absolutely what he will do because he has talked to quite a few folks. He has not shut any doors, which I think is very wise on his part. He has definitely not said that he is absolutely going to Georgia. He also hasn’t said he wasn’t going to Georgia, either. He’s at least open to some other possibilities.”
College coaches and parents of his high school teammates know all about his connection to Herschel. But it isn’t that big of a deal to his classmates, who were born long after his uncle won the 1982 Heisman Trophy.
“Those were the glory days for Georgia, and it was a lot of fun watching Herschel play,” Stroud said. “But those were quite a few yeas ago. Milan handles the pressure well (from being Herschel’s nephew) because he’s got some years removed from the whole thing. The kids don’t make a big deal about all of that, so I think that helps him a lot with the pressure.”
“And the people that are recruiting him, even at Georgia, I appreciate the way they are handling it. They are not just doing it because he has a bloodline connection. That’s exactly what they said, that ‘We want Milan to be able to be himself, and we want to be able to recruit him like any other kid out there.’ I think that’s very important because this is Milan’s life and he needs to be able to prove himself as a good and solid young man and a good and solid football player.”
While Richard is proud and appreciative of his family’s legacy, he doesn’t want any special treatment because of it. “I don’t want to have to go off anybody else’s name to earn a football scholarship. I’m my own person. I’m just like every other kid, working hard with my high school team and going to camps.”
Richard visited UGA a few times this past summer, and earned an early offer after his performance at July’s Dawg Night prospect camp. He wanted it badly, but under the right circumstances.
“A lot of fans thought Georgia should offer me,” he said. “But if you asked Georgia’s coaches, they will tell you they felt like I earned their scholarship and that’s why they gave it to me.”
UGA’s coaches are not allowed to comment on prospective student-athletes, per NCAA rules. But Herschel is. What is he telling his nephew about recruiting?
“Both of my parents were recruited for track, and they’ve kind of given me a lot of background and tips on recruiting that I need,” Richard said. “My uncle, he’s mainly there just for support. He’s there for me, wherever I go. My parents tell me all the time that it’s 100-percent my decision and I need to go where I want to go. It’s the same way with my uncle. He said it’s 100-percent my decision. He’s still going to be my uncle, regardless of whether I go to UGA or not.”
Richard has a 3.1 GPA and will likely major in Business.
WE’RE LESS THAN FOUR MONTHS AWAY FROM SIGNING DAY
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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