The college football world is still getting a feeling for how transfer portal recruiting works, but for many big-time recruits, it goes something like this:
- Put out feelers to programs you might be interested in, letting them know you’re planning on hitting the portal
- Solicit some initial NIL offers, use those offers as negotiating points to leverage better offers
- Actually enter the portal
- Go on a couple of visits. On those visits, get down into the nitty gritty, receive a formal offer for an NIL deal with the school’s NIL collective.
- Negotiate a little bit, accept the deal, verbally commit to the NIL collective and coaching staff, but don’t publicly announce
- Ignoring your own verbal commitment, take your newly-acquired formal offer and shop it around with some other schools
- Repeat steps 4-6 until you run out of momentum
- Commit to a school after waiting a few days to “build anticipation.”
Ole Miss is absolutely wrecking the portal this season, but by god it gets exhausting seeing this process play out over and over. All that to say this: we really, really appreciate it when a prospect cuts the bullshit and plays things straight. That appears to have been the case with the Rebs’ most recent portal grab, Mississippi State cornerback Decamerion Richardson. Originally a class of 2020 recruit, Richardson will transfer to Ole Miss with one year of eligibility remaining (I think). As a second-year starter for MSU, Richardson was rated the #7 cornerback according to Pro Football Focus, and is currently the #4 cornerback in the transfer portal, according to On3.
Back to my first bit on transfer recruits and the drama that they stir up… While Ole Miss has had crazy success in the portal so far, some recruits have clearly been a bit difficult for the Grove Collective to work with. But Richardson wasn’t even on the Rebel recruiting gurus’ collective radar until late, late Sunday, and he committed midday on Monday.
Only thing on a mind of a shark is eat, by any means! Committed pic.twitter.com/6vMaZ30hIs— D.Richardson (@DecamerionR) December 18, 2023
That’s not to suggest he didn’t have a plethora of other options. Richardson is a Louisiana native, and LSU wanted him badly, as did Texas A&M, Oregon, and others.
So while I certainly don’t begrudge these kids trying to maximize their NIL earnings, there’s a lot to like about a guy who goes into the portal knowing what he wants, and coming to a quick and straightforward agreement.
In terms of his potential impact, don’t let the drama-free recruitment fool you. Richardson will set foot on campus as the best bet to man one of the starting cornerback spots, ahead of returning contributor Chris Graves, fellow portal commit Tahveon Nicholson, and incoming JUCO standout Cedrick Beavers. He gives the Rebs at least a chance to upgrade at cornerback after losing two talented veteran starters in Deantre Prince and Zamari Walton. Another phenomenal pickup for Pete Golding’s defense, which looks increasingly likely to take a giant step from a technically sound, average SEC defense, to something downright scary.