As your annual reminder that college football recruiting is dumb and that 18 year-olds change their minds a lot, four-star running back Cordarrian Richardson now says that he will sign with a school on Wednesday. Just hours after he told The Commercial Appeal on Tuesday afternoon that he planned to delay his decision until after he’d had time to take an official visit to Michigan State, the Ole Miss target doubled back with the Appeal to claim that his National Signing Day decision is back on.
What that decision will be, however is still up in the air, and Richardson’s last-minute uncertainty still doesn’t bode particularly well for Ole Miss. It was just two weeks ago that the country’s No. 10 running back prospect ended his official visit to Oxford by telling reporters there was a “90 percent chance” he’d pick the Rebels.
It sure sounds like Hugh Freeze expected Hours after Richardson delayed his decision on Tuesday night, news broke that Ole Miss had extended an offer to unrated running back Isaiah Woullard, who’d been waiting around to see if the Rebels would have room for him. He promptly accepted and told 247Rebels that he’d been told by Freeze that no other running backs would be joining the 2017 class.
It’s possible that Freeze just overreacted to the initial news of Richardson’s delay and that the running back, after a brief case of we feet, is still considering Ole Miss. It’s also possible that Richardson has dropped the Rebels from the running and plans on signing elsewhere on Wednesday.
Where could that elsewhere be? For starters, Richardson has called Oregon his “dream school,” though he never ended up in Eugene for an official visit. He has taken officials to Rutgers and UCF, and of that pair, the Knights not wearing scarlet are the most likely contender.
Losing Richardson would be a demoralizing blow to a program who’s only four-star offensive commit, D.D. Bowie, is expected to flip to Mississippi State on Wednesday. It also means that Ole Miss, which watched five-star Cam Akers sign with Florida State earlier this month, could end up without a running back prospect in this class.
Presumptive starter Jordan Wilkins and veteran backup Eugene Brazley will both graduate next season and while 2015 four-star Eric Swinney turned heads in spring camp last year, he’s coming off of ACL surgery. A lot could be riding on the development of former four-star and rising sophomore D’Vaughn Pennamon, who carried the ball just 20 times last season.
Just in case, you’re wondering, recruits don’t have to put pen to paper on Wednesday—Signing Day is just the first day of a month-long signing period. Ever-increasing media attention and TV coverage has exceedingly enticed (or pressured) recruits to do so, making NSD ceremonies the norm.