Patterson High School standout Dajon Richard signed his national letter of intent to play college football at the University of South Alabama during the first day of college football early signing period Wednesday at Patterson High. Joining Richard for the ceremony are a host of family and friends. (The Daily Review/Corwin Murray)
Patterson's Richard inks with South Alabama
Patterson football standout Dajon Richard’s childhood dream came true Wednesday as he signed a national letter of intent during college football’s early signing period to play college football at South Alabama.
But, Richard still wonders what would have happened if the Lumberjacks had a better season. Patterson finished 1-9 this season and missed the state playoffs for the first time in a long time.
“Some of them (recruiters) just looked at my stats and compared them to other people who played in the playoffs,” Richard said. “They (other players) only passed me because they played more games.”
Richard finished his senior season with 1,783 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns, 181 receiving yards and two touchdowns and 131 passing yards. He also had two kickoff return touchdowns.
“I’ve sent them all over the country to colleges and pro, and none were better high school football players than Dajon,” Patterson Coach Don Jones said. “He never missed practice. He never missed a game, and he was ready to compete, even though all the teams game planned to stop him. Those bigger schools are going to kick themselves when they see what he does at South Alabama. He wasn’t just the fastest player on the team. He was also one of the strongest.”
Richard got a lot of interest last summer when he ran a 4.30 in the 40-yard dash at a recruiting combine.
Several mid-major schools offered last summer, but the big schools where concerned by his size (5-feet, 10-inches and 180 pounds). They all wanted to see him play more receiver because he played multiple positions for Patterson. Richard played quarterback, running back, receiver and defense in his junior season.
While Richard said he thought Patterson would be better this season, because they weren’t, he had to play multiple positions as a senior.
“I think it hurt me with them (big schools), but if I play them, I’m gonna punish them,” Richard said.
South Alabama (3-9) is in Mobile, and the Jaguars play in the Sun Belt Conference.
“They made me feel like a priority from the jump,” Richard said. “They said they were looking for an athlete with my skills, because that’s all their offense is missing for next season.”
Richard had given his verbal commitment to the University of Texas at San Antonio but reopened his recruitment.
“I would have liked playing for Coach Frank (Wilson) but Mobile is only three hours away, so my parents can come to all the home games,” he said.