By: Barry Barnes, Founder/Senior Writer
Now that all the flash, designer suits and intro music is gone, the NFL can finally get to work. Frankly, the first three rounds do not require as much attention because the chosen standouts put their work in to earn the opportunity of having their names called earlier. However, this is where the rubber hits the road as the next four rounds will help form the engine and wings to thrust a team towards success for the selected few to guide the way.
With that being said, emergencies will surface during a destination and a team will need individuals to step in for some of the selected few to help guide and become the landing gear. And that’s when a guy like Nu’Keese Richardson and many others will come in.
“It was definitely a journey. It was extremely tough but at the same time it helped me,” said Richardson. “The journey to get to this point in my life took me to the low of the lows, like the incident at UT did. However, the journey was well worth it because it helped develop my character by building perseverance and resilience. I learned a lot from the struggle and challenges I faced and matured as a man.”
Don’t say this out loud, Richardson is comparable to newly acquired Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who was selected fourth-overall Thursday after trading up with the Cleveland Browns.
Similar to Watkins, Richardson has great hands and ridiculous speed. Better yet, Richardson is a freak like Watkins, but to state that out loud would be crazy because he is not well known.
No one is exempted from making life decisions. Clearly, and unlike Watkins, Richardson did not make the right choices for the destination he wants to go. After being highly recruited coming out of high school by the likes of Florida and Tennessee in 2009, Richardson’s life went into a tailspin and after having run-ins with the law, Richardson attempted to walk away from the game he loves.
The power of a mother’s love is extremely special. Richardson credits his mother for helping him to get his life in order. Unfortunately, Richardson’s mother has transitioned, but her words, encouragement and advice will forever live on in him.
“My number one inspiration is my mother,” said Richardson. “Before she passed, I was taught significant life values. My mom also introduced me to my relationship with God. Her lessons built me into the man I am now, you know being honest, loyal, and understanding the importance of teamwork.”
Eventually, Richardson got his life back on track. He is humbled, became a father and his focus is clear. Following a solid Pro Day at FAU in April, with some NFL scouts around the league like the Bills and Miami Dolphins who attended, the Florida native may hit his target.
“For any student athletes, I would say: Be wise, watch who you hang around and surround yourself with,” said Richardson. “Take advantage of everything while at your University. Not just football, but get the education while you can.
“Don’t let the distractions be the reason why you miss out on an amazing opportunity,” he continued. “Its just special to be in that situation, so take advantage of it. But most importantly, always keep your faith in God.”
Richardson understood that just working out alone would not totally put him in the situation to get notice by a NFL team. He got himself an agent and Kiko Pallango, Principle and Founder of KP 360 Agency, did not hesitate to sign to him.
“The relationship between a player and an agent is pretty dynamic,” said Pallango, who is certified by the National Football League Players Association. “There has to be some type of faith in each party. Initially, I was intrigued by his skill level and story. After meeting him, I was sold on his personality and demeanor. It just felt right to work with Nu’Keese.”
All 32 teams in the NFL and Richardson has something in common, a desire to win. The squads want to win a Super Bowl, while Richardson needs to win in life. And each day, they all are taking steps to do so.
Other than Richardson, defensive end Rakim Cox will be setting and waiting for a phone call. Cox took the route of the NFL Regional Combine and after his workouts in Miami, he was invited to the NFL Super Regional Combine in Detroit, where NFL scouts were definitely showed some interest.
Another freakish athlete will be available and may be quietly on a team’s radar is wide receiver Darius Millines. Millines is a playmaking wide receiver and was at Illinois until he got dismissed from the program for violating unspecified team rules in May of 2013. He transferred to Colorado State University to finish out his senior year.
Highly skilled talent is still available to be drafted Saturday and if Richardson, Cox and Millines, to name a few, are quietly being looked at, they will not be quiet on Sunday afternoons this fall, if given an opportunity, because they are explosive, hungry guys.
The NFL has proven countless times that we will give someone a shot despite having made poor judgments, especially if their talent and skill set can not be denied.
Unquestionably, Richardson’s physical abilities and skill set is unquestioned, while his past is noted. If he is drafted or signs as an undrafted free agent, someone has done their homework and, ultimately, will be cleared for take off.
And Richardson is ready to be used in anyway to help a team reach their destination.
“I can bring a personality that can spark a lockerroom,” said Richardson. “Once people get to know me, they find out I am a very humble guy with a bright personality and a true team player. Whatever role the team needs me to do, I will do it. At the end of the day, its about the team.
“I’m here to help out in whatever way I can. If they need me to return kicks, I’ll do that. If they need me to be the Bobby Boucher of the team, I’ll do that!”
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