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No 6 fullback idolizes Duckett, commits to U for 2002

November 12, 2001

Hazelwood East High (St. Louis) fullback David Richard planned on continuing his football career at Tennessee.

But the 6-foot-2, 225-pounder axed those plans Friday when he decided to commit to MSU football head coach Bobby Williams and make East Lansing his new football home next season.

“The reason for the change was because I didn’t know a lot about (Tennessee),” Richard said. “My (initial) decision was more emotional because I had just come off a good camp at Tennessee.”

Richard said Williams, who is also a native of St. Louis, is the reason he committed to the Spartans. It was not only Williams’ roots that attracted the blue chipper, but the way Williams helped him become accustomed to the MSU community.

Football recruiting analyst Bill Kurelic compares Richard, who is ranked the No. 2 fullback for his class by Alliancesports.com, to MSU junior tailback T.J. Duckett. With a similar body and a little more speed at 4.4 in the 40-yard dash, Kurelic said Richard has the chance to be MSU’s next big back when Duckett exits the MSU scene.

“I think he’s got the chance to be the heir apparent to T.J. Duckett,” Kurelic said. “He’s the same kind of back. He is almost as highly regarded as Duckett was coming out of high school.”

Richard welcomes the comparisons to Duckett and said he uses the MSU runner as a model for his own playing style.

“As far as a college tailback goes I look up to (Duckett),” Richard said. “He is one person I idolize. I have pictures of him hanging up in my room.”

A little more than a week ago, Richard made his official visit to MSU and witnessed Duckett’s last-second touchdown catch to defeat Michigan 26-24.

“That was a great game,” Richard said. “When I was there I already wanted to commit. Watching the game, I pictured myself as T.J.”

Richard said the MSU coaching staff has told him to expect big things when he finally reaches campus and he said that he’s prepared for any tasks thrown his way.

“(Williams) expects that I can contribute as a true freshman,” Richard said. “I plan to step up in any way I can.”

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