UK Football

Javonte Richardson stayed loyal to UK, and he could end up in the NFL

Javonte Richardson is ranked by as the No. 114 overall prospect in the 2017 class.
Javonte Richardson is ranked by as the No. 114 overall prospect in the 2017 class. Northeast Ohio Media Group

There was no drama in the recruitment of Javonte Richardson.

The 6-foot-4 athlete from just outside of Cleveland made waves when he announced his commitment to Kentucky last March, surprising timing for a four-star prospect who was generating considerable interest from major college programs.

At that time, Richardson already had an early scholarship offer from Michigan. He had attended a couple of high-profile Ohio State camps, and many expected the Buckeyes to join that offer list at some point.

So, when Richardson announced his commitment to the Cats, it seemed a near certainty that Vince Marrow and Mark Stoops would have to battle until the end to keep that pledge.

It didn’t happen like that.

“He never really looked anywhere else,” said’s Bill Greene. “He stayed true the whole time.”

Greene has been evaluating Richardson for years, and he said he’s always been curious to see what position the new UK signee would play in college. The analyst said he envisioned him as an outside linebacker and noted that he was also a “heck of a safety” at the high school level.

UK likes him as a wide receiver, and Greene said he would probably be “amazing” at that position, once he gets the hang of things.

Richardson — the Cats’ second-best signee behind only Lynn Bowden, according to the 2017 composite rankings — also plays basketball, and that other focus, along with his ability to play several positions on the football field, has limited his growth in any one area.

He’ll have some learning to do, but Richardson will come to UK with all the physical tools.

“Right now, he is a big, fast, athlete. Pure athlete,” Greene said. “From a size, speed aspect — these are the kind of guys that Alabama or USC recruits. His football skills have not caught up to his athletic ability yet. But, if they do, then you’re looking at somebody that’s really special. He’s very strong. Legit (size) with long arms. And he can run. He needs to learn the finer points of the game. Still needs to be coached. But, man, there’s a chance this guy could really be special.

“If he gets it, then you’re looking at a future NFL receiver.”

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