- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
A starter in all 11 games last season as a sophomore was something that helped Nick Richardson (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville Central) land on college programs’ radars. He spent the spring hosting schools and the summer traveling to them. He has spent the past year working on his game, and now he is one of the top 2014 prospects in Central Ohio.
“Last winter and summer I worked real hard in the weight room,” Richardson said. “I put on 30 pounds of muscle and increased my cardio a lot -- that way I can finish my blocks a lot harder and keep my feet more.”
The 6-foot-4, 280-pound offensive tackle had a litany of teams checking up on him during the spring, and Cincinnati, Illinois and Toledo all offered. During the summer, Richardson traveled to camps at Notre Dame, Ohio State, Toledo and Wisconsin.
And he made it to Notre Dame twice.
“I like their campus a lot, everything about the campus and facilities and practice fields,” Richardson said.
As far as an offer, he said the Notre Dame staff will continue to keep an eye on him.
Wisconsin told Richardson the same, and the Badgers impressed him while he was at camp.
“They have a really nice stadium,” he said, “and the facilities there are nice.”
Because he grew up just outside Columbus, it is of little surprise that Richardson is a big Ohio State fan. Ohio State’s Friday Night Lights was his first time in The Horseshoe.
“I liked it a lot there. That was cool being under the lights in Ohio Stadium,” he said. “I talked to Coach [Urban] Meyer and Coach [Ed] Warriner, and they said send them some film after the first couple games and will stay in touch.”
Richardson is also in contact with the Michigan staff. Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison has talked with him twice.
“He said he liked my film a lot and that he’d show it to the offensive line coach [Darrell Funk],” Richardson said.
Richardson said he does not yet have favorites, but he will sit down with his dad after the season and discuss his options.
Indiana, NC State, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Purdue and West Virginia are also interested in Richardson.
488dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert