The Kentucky football program's most recent hire has not yet had a chance to show off his play-calling abilities, but he's already been a reassuring presence on the recruiting trail.
Wide receiver Tavin Richardson always considered Kentucky the favorite in his recruitment, though he acknowledged that he was wavering after the departure of offensive coordinator Neal Brown.
Richardson had a great relationship with UK wide receivers coach Tommy Mainord, who told the recruit to relax and assured him that the Cats would bring in a top-flight coordinator to take Brown's position.
Enter Shannon Dawson, exit second thoughts.
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Richardson was already well familiar with Dawson from his time as offensive coordinator at West Virginia, where he coached several NFL-caliber pass catchers.
"He coached Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin and Kevin White, so he knows his stuff about receivers," Richardson said. "They always threw the ball."
Dawson visited Richardson multiple times after he was hired, and the 6-foot-3, 215-pound prospect announced his commitment to UK last week.
Mainord promised Richardson that Dawson would be bringing a "fast-paced" offense to Lexington this fall, and he's ready to be a part of it.
UK's coaches have also promised him a shot at immediate playing time, and Richardson knows they're not letting him on.
He attended last season's victory over South Carolina and said he watched nearly every one of the Wildcats' games. So he saw true freshmen like Dorian Baker, Garrett Johnson and Blake Bone — a fellow South Carolinian who he's known for years — make immediate contributions.
He's eager to be next.
"They said I can come in and play early as a slot receiver," Richardson said. "I just saw that they're not scared to play freshmen. They have confidence in their freshmen to come in and play early, and I'm ready to do that."