Ballou DE William Richardson commits to U-Conn.

July 15

With just more than a month left until the start football season, Ballou rising senior William Richardson had increasing interest from Penn State, Iowa, Kentucky and West Virginia. But Connecticut was the lone school to offer a scholarship to the versatile two-way standout who played defensive end, linebacker and tight end for the Knights as a junior.

The Huskies offered in May, and since then Connecticut defensive coordinator Anthony Poindexter talked to Richardson at least once a week. The tireless effort to get Richardson on campus compelled him to commit to the Huskies over the Fourth of July weekend.

“They were the first to offer, and it felt like the right move to make,” Richardson said. “I went with my gut feeling.”

Richardson has yet to visit the campus — he has a visit planned for this weekend or next weekend — but he didn’t make the commitment blindly. He talked to Connecticut wide receiver Thomas Lucas, a former Paint Branch standout, who told him the program’s direction and the campus experience.  He also researched the school in his spare time and said he liked the facilities that were readily available in Storrs.

The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder was recruited as a middle linebacker, and he likely will drop down to the front four in pass rush situations. As a defensive linemen for the Knights last fall, he was relentless in pursuit and could be seen chasing a running back down from 30 yards away from the line of scrimmage to complete the tackle.

Expect him to possess quicker feet this season after running outdoor track for the second consecutive season in the spring.

“Track helps a lot, a majority of the time I’m running around and stuff like that,” Richardson said. “Track helps me with my explosion and quickness.”

Richardson is the second Ballou football commit in the class of 2015, offensive tackle Levon Livingston committed to Kentucky in April.

“I felt like a huge monkey was off my back when I committed, and I knew I had to work harder for the next level,” Richardson said. “I’m just focusing on preparing myself for the next level and finishing strong.”

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