Nick Richardson has spent his entire life trying to make others proud. Now it’s his turn to make his parents and himself proud.
“Everything I have done so far has been for everybody else,” he said. “It’s just time to do stuff for me, my parents and make them proud.”
Since arriving at Kentucky, Richardson, a highly-touted freshman, has added more pounds to his 6-foot-4 structure. Richardson said his goal has been to “gain some good weight)” and “help this team out as much as I can.”
“It’s been going good,” he said. “It’s been good to get here and put on some weight — some good weight. It’s definitely a chance from high school, where I was the biggest (offensive lineman). All the guys are good guys and they all have helped me a lot. Last year was disappointing but everyone’s attitude is way better than last year.”
Richardson, an offensive lineman and graduate of Westerville Central High School in Ohio, turned down offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and West Virginia to play at Kentucky. Richardson was a four-star performer in high school and named first team Division I All-Ohio by the Associated Press following a stellar senior season.
“The coaching staff here is great, I love it here and it’s close to home,” he said. “I feel comfortable here. I’ve learned a lot from the older guys. You have to get all of your stuff done and time management is a big thing.”
Richardson said the difference between high school and college “has been the structure of everything.”
“It’s more (about) nutrition and more weight room focus,” he said.
Richardson’s athletic traits can be traced to his family. His father Clete played football at Heidelberg University, while his mother Connie played on the women’s basketball team at Heidelberg.
“I like to think (they played a big part in my athletic abilities),” Richardson said. “My mom was a really good basketball player and my dad was a pretty good football player, too. They both pushed me pretty hard academically and athletically.”
While at home, Richardson likes to take his dog Mischa for long walks in the woods. Richardson said the time with nature helps relieve the stress of every day life and helps clear his mind.
“I love to spend time with my dog and it helps me to get away from everyone,” he said. “I just love to hang out with nature. It’s peaceful and it’s nice to get away sometimes and gets my mind off everything. She’s my first dog and I love her a lot. She’s been fun.”
Richardson knows Kentucky’s program has struggled during the past two seasons, but likes the direction the program is headed under second-year coach Mark Stoops.
“It’s going to be definitely a lot better than last year,” he said. “Obviously the goals are going to be a lot higher, so hopefully we can (produce) on the field.”
Richardson doesn’t have a favorite in the race for the starting job at quarterback. Drew Barker, Reese Phillips and Patrick Towles are competing for the job as fall camp progresses. The Kentucky coaching staff could name a starter as early as this week.
“They’re all pretty good,” he said.
Richardson’s goal is to help as much as he can in his first season with the Wildcats.
“I want to contribute as much as I can,” he said. “If that means playing, that means playing. If not, I’ll be the best I can on the scout team and I’ll be the best I can to get in as many reps as I can.”